Mr. James Jaaga, Bole District Chief Executive, has said government will do all that it takes to support the various disabled associations, to help get their members off the streets.A cross section of disabled persons that benefitted from the distribution of food items to destitutes and motherless homes in Abia state by the wife of the governor, Mrs mercy Odochi Orji  in Umuahia.

He said government was mindful of the basic needs of persons with disabilities, and had introduced interventions, including training programmes and the allocation of two per cent share of the District Assemblies Common Fund, to make them more productive and self-reliant.

Mr Jaaga was addressing members of Ghana Blind Union, Ghana Society of the Physically Disabled, and Ghana Association of the Deaf, at Bole, to mark this year?s World Disability Day celebration, on the theme: ?Disability; A Concern For all.?

He assured persons with disabilities in the district that District Assembly would always release the two percent share allocated to them from the district common fund, as soon as the money was made available, to cater for their basic needs.

The District Chief Executive urged executives of the various disabled associations, to give hope to their members and change their attitudes, in order to overcome societal challenges.

Mr. Jaaga urged members of the associations to endeavour to take advantage of government?s interventions, and non-governmental organisations assistance, to make life meaningful for themselves.

Mr. Stephen Mensah, Bole District Director of the Department of Social Welfare, disclosed that out of 459 applicants for this year, the Department had registered 373 persons with disabilities at Bamboi, Tinga and Maluwe Area Councils.

The registration of persons with disabilities was done with the support of RLG, an Information and Communication Technology specialized organisation.

Mr. Mensah said the Department and Community Development was providing care and support for the vulnerable, including persons with disabilities, and was organizing training for 50 trainable disabled persons in Bole.

He said education of the persons with disabilities was a major concern for the Department, and it had embarked on a sustained campaign in the rural communities sensitizing parents to send their disabled children to school.

The campaign had made it possible for the Department to enroll 50 disabled children, made up of both visually impaired and difficulty hearing at the Wa School for the Blind and Wa School for the Deaf and Dumb respectively, this academic year.

Mr. Mensah said an amount of 71,557 Ghana Cedis was provided to both students and adult disabled in 2012, 7,875 Ghana Cedis in 2013 and 23,615 Ghana Cedis in 2014 from the two per cent of the District Common Fund for persons with disabilities.

About 21 disabled children from Bole who were enrolled the previous years at basic level at the Wa School for the Blind and Wa School Deaf and Dumb School had been supported with an amount of 4,200 Ghana Cedis.

At second cycle and tertiary institutions, 28 disabled students had been provided with 11,000 Ghana Cedis to pay their school fees.

Mr. Mensah said 10,000 Ghana Cedis had also been disbursed to persons with disabilities to start small businesses and other ventures, which include radio and television, shoe and leather works and farming, as well as petty trading, to help improve their livelihoods.

The activities of the Department had made parents to realize the importance of sending their children to school, to enable them to come to the mainstream and contribute their quota to the economy.

Mr. Mensah said gone were the days when disability was seen as a spiritual issue, and persons with disabilities were considered as cursed, and had to be subjected to all manner of treatment, such as discrimination, stigmatization and exclusion.

Some parents in the district hitherto were confining their disabled children in rooms and pens, but now, parents were acting responsibly and bringing out their disabled children to be registered and enrolled in schools, Mr. Mensah said.

Mr. Abraham Boah, Northern Regional President of Persons with Disabilities, said ignorance had made the public not to know more about disability issues.

Mr. Boah said public buildings were still a challenge to persons with disabilities, and appealed to government to enforce the laws to make all public facilities disable-friendly.


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