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12.08.2004 Regional News

Workshop on media and disability held

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Kumasi, Aug 12, GNA- A two-day workshop for the media to highlight issues on disability ended in Kumasi on Tuesday.

Some media personnel, the Ghana Association of the Blind, Ghana National Association of the Deaf and the Ghana Society of the Physically Disabled attended the workshop.

It was organised by the Ghana Against Disability (GAD), a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) and sponsored by the World Bank. Topics discussed included the National Disability Policy, the Disability Bill and the Role of the Community Based Rehabilitation Programme and the theme was: "Putting Disability Under The Right Perspective".

Mr Samuel Ennin, Ashanti Regional Chairman of the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) regretted that in spite of the constitutional provision, which protected and guaranteed the rights of the disabled, they were still discriminated against. He said the disabled were not fairly treated in employment and stressed the need for society to treat people with disabilities with respect, love and kindness and protect them against all forms of discrimination.

Mr J.E. Amponsah, Deputy Ashanti Regional Director of the Department of Social Welfare, who spoke on the "National Disability Policy", said it sought to enact appropriate legislation to strengthen existing ones to promote the full integration of the disabled and protect their rights.

He called for support from organisations to help mobilise local resources to promote the welfare of people with disabilities. Mr Nicholas Halm, Secretary-General of the Ghana Federation of the Disabled, said the National Disability Bill was long overdue and urged the government and Parliament to speed up the process of passing the bill.

Mr Attakora Asamoa Yaw Opoku Jnr., President of GAD urged the media to highlight more on disability issues to attract government's attention.

Mr Khalid Bashiru, acting National Chairman of the Physically Disabled Workers Union urged people with disabilities to brief the media of their problems to enable it to highlight on them.

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