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07.11.2005 Regional News

Disability Bill should be renamed -- Former Assemblyman

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Bolgatanga, Nov 7, GNA- A former Assemblyman for Zaare Electoral Area near Bolgatanga in the Upper East Region, Mr Noble Michael Alagskoma, has suggested that the name "Disability Bill" currently before Parliament, should be called "Physically-Challenged Bill." Advancing his argument, he said, when physically-challenged persons are called disabled, it amounts to mockery and stigmatisation. Mr Alagskoma who was speaking to Ghana News Agency in Bolgatanga, at the weekend, explained that what the able-bodied human beings could do, the physically-challenged also had the ability to do, with the exception of a few cases, and that it would, therefore, be improper and disdainful to call them disabled.

"Most Physically -Challenged persons are performing extremely well in all work of human endeavours. If they were disabled they could not perform duties for the country," he said, adding that the name of Bill before Parliament therefore needs to be changed as a matter of fairness to persons with disabilities.

He impressed upon Parliament to hasten the passage of the Bill, saying it would enable the physically-challenged to access certain facilities without undue hindrances.

Mr Alagskoma further exhorted Drama Groups and Film Producers to desist from using people who were not disabled to play the role of disabled characters, since that amounted to mockery and disdain. He rather suggested the involvement of the physically-challenged themselves for such roles.