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13.08.2004 Regional News

Ghanaians urged to protect the disabled against discrimination

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Kumasi, Aug. 13, GNA - Mr Samuel Ennin, Ashanti Regional Chairman of the Ghana Journalists Association, on Thursday urged Ghanaians to protect people with disabilities against all forms of discrimination. He said such people needed to be treated with love and respect and assisted to develop their potentials.

Mr Ennin expressed regret that despite the constitutional provision, which sought to protect and guarantee the rights of the disabled, they were still discriminated against.

Mr Ennin was speaking at the end of a two-day workshop on the disabled for the media in Kumasi on Tuesday, under the theme: "Putting Disability In The Right Perspective".

It was organised by the Ghana Against Disability (GAD), a non-governmental organisation, and sponsored by the World Bank. Media personnel, members of the Ghana Association of the Blind, Ghana National Association of the Deaf and the Ghana Society of the Physically Disabled attended the workshop.

Topics discussed included the National Disability Policy, the Disability Bill and the Role of the Community Based Rehabilitation Programme.

Mr J.E. Amponsah, Deputy Ashanti Regional Director of the Department of Social Welfare, said the National Disability Policy sought to ensure that appropriate legislation was enacted to strengthen the existing ones to facilitate the integration of the disabled into the society and to protect their rights.

He urged individuals and 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 Parliament to expedite action on the bill.

Mr Khalid Bashiru, acting National Chairman of the Physically Disabled Workers Union, advised people with disabilities to collaborate with the media to enable them to focus on their plight.

Mr Attakora Asamoa Yaw Opoku Jnr., President of GAD, appealed to journalists to draw the public and Government's attention to disability issues.

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