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Regional News of Wednesday, 3 April 2013

Source: GNA

Federation of the Disabled want a parliamentary caucus on disability

The Ghana Federation of the Disabled (GFD) says critical issues affecting persons with disability (PWD) are not well articulated on the floor of parliament to facilitate the formulation of appropriate policies.

The Federation is therefore taking steps to get parliament to form an inter-party parliamentary caucus on disability to facilitate discussions on disability issues.

Mr Yaw Ofori-Debrah, President of the Federation who made this known to the Ghana News Agency in Accra said so far it has been able to organise a luncheon for six parliamentarians across the political divide who have expressed keen interest to be part of the caucus.

He said the driving motive was to try to influence Parliamentarians to develop keen interest in disability matters as well as learn more about issues of vulnerable persons.

The formation of an inter-party parliamentary caucus would also help members of the house to keep an eye on social interventions like the District Assemblies Common Fund, he added.

“This caucus will afford law-makers the opportunity to devote attention on disability matters and raise questions that call for Ministers to appear before Parliament to answer.

“Many of the law-makers are oblivious of disability matters and are therefore not able to raise substantial matters on disability for the initiation of appropriate policies and programmes, said Mr Ofori-Debrah.

He pointed out that Ghana, in spite of its democratic credentials, neither practices inclusive education nor has policies on educating disabled persons.

“Ghana as it is now does not practice inclusive education though inclusive education is now phenomenal.

“PWDs should not be restricted to residential schools; they need to be in the community with their families who will appreciate the problems they are going through,” he stressed, adding that restricting PWDs to residential schools means taking away their ‘rights to inclusiveness’.

The president noted that it was therefore imperative to get law-makers to form a disability caucus to articulate critical consideration on behalf of PWDs.

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