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08.08.2005 General News

Disability Bill is before Cabinet - JAK

GNA

Accra, Aug.8, GNA - The Disability Bill is before Cabinet and would soon be passed into law, President John Agyekum Kufuor said on Monday.

He gave the assurance that after its passage, all projects to be undertaken by the State would cater for the physically challenged. President Kufuor announced this when Mr Emmanuel Yaw Ofosu Yeboah, the Physically Challenged Ghanaian triathlete (a person who competes in three events, cycling, swimming and running) paid a courtesy call on him at the Castle, Osu.

Mr Yeboah also showed seven medals and five trophies he had won since 2002 to President Kufuor.

Among the awards were the 25,000 dollar Casey Martin Award by Nike and Arthur Ashe Courage Award. Yeboah, once a humble shoeshine boy was hosted by US popular talk show hostess, Oprah Windrey and even had lunch with US president George Bush after receiving this year's award.

The President commended Mr Yeboah for being a role model to the physically challenged in society who has utilise his God-given talents for humanity.

He said the government would offer the needed support to any physically challenged person to become useful to society. President Kufuor said in appreciation to the achievements of Mr Yeboah, the Ministry of Education and Sports has been directed to present a saloon car to him.

Mr Yeboah pledged to win more laurels to the country and informed the Government about the establishment of an Education Fund and a Sports Academy for the Physically Challenged at his hometown Kyebi, in the Eastern Region.

Yeboah 28, born with a stunted right leg into a poverty-stricken home at Akyem Abuakwa, he had it amputated and fitted with a prosthetic (artificial leg) at the Loma Linda University Hospital in California in 2002.

He refused to accept a life of resignation and dreamt of riding a bicycle a cross Ghana, a distance of nearly 400 miles yet had no bike.

Yeboah wrote to the Challenged Athletes Foundation in the US for support and with that managed in September 2001 to ride 610-Kilometre wearing a T-shirt with the inscription "The Pozo." After, the foundation invited Yeboah to compete in a triathlon in the US during which the San Diego hospital in California donated the surgery and equipment necessary to fit Yeboah with a prosthetic limb. With that, Yeboah could now walk, run, swim, and play football. 08 Aug.05

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