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08.04.2005 Regional News

UG considers ways to help students with disability

By GNA

Accra, April 08, GNA - The University of Ghana, Legon is considering ways of creating an enabling environment for physically challenged students to cope with the academic activities on campus. Dr Vladimir Antwi-Danso, Dean of Students, who was speaking at a fundraising ceremony for physically challenged students on Friday, said the policies might include extending their examination time and creating comfortable registration centres for them.

He, however, noted that this needed thorough deliberations and considerations since the disability of one student might be less serious than the other and, therefore, a blanket policy could not be made to include all of them.

The ceremony organised by the Campus Association of Disabled Students (CADS) was to raise money for the Disabled and Needy Students Education Endowment Fund (DISNEFUND).

The Fund is to support physically challenged students in cash or kind including soliciting for learning materials like computers, tape recorders and Braille, as well as to support the maiden magazine, "The Beacon," a voice for the physically challenged.

It was under the theme: "The Role of Government, Higher Educational Institutions, Corporate Bodies, NGOs, Media and Individuals in the Proper Integration of People with Disability in our Society." Dr Antwi-Danso, also the Patron of CADS, said the current leadership of the University was positive towards issues concerning the disabled adding that the Vice Chancellor had put some policies in place, which would soon be implemented.

Mr Alfred T. Konu, Registrar, said the University was serious in championing the cause of the disabled backed by the Vice Chancellor's instruction that all future buildings should be made disabled-friendly as well as the modification of existing ones to suit their needs.

Mr Stephen Adongo, Deputy Director of Social Welfare, said the Disability Bill had been on the drawing board for far too long and needed to be passed into a law.

He said social development programmes had not been given the needed focus adding that projects like public toilets and markets were built but nobody bothered to think about who used them.

Mr Francis Kojo Sosu, Project Director of DISNEFUND, said the society had failed to properly integrate Persons With Disability (PWDs). He said the Media was not also helping much in promoting the issues of the disabled adding that though some Media houses showcased the talents and capabilities of PWDs others clearly discriminated against them.

He called on corporate bodies and individuals to support the projects that sought to fight the cause of the physically challenged. Mr Jonas B. Amoako, Part Time Lecturer of the University of Ghana, who chaired the function, said accessibility was the main problem for people with disability adding that public places must be built with the needs of the disabled in mind.

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