By Maxwell Awumah, GNA
Ho, Sept. 15, GNA - Mr Charles Nyante, Programme Manager, Voice of People With Disability (Voice Ghana), has reiterated the call for enforcement of laws that give access to People With Disabilities (PWDs) to public and private facilities in the country.
He said ACT 715 of 2006 with a moratorium of 10 years, must be enforced vigorously according to the Ghana Accessibility Standard document to integrate PWDs in the built industry.
The Programme Manager said it should be made criminal to construct buildings and other facilities in the health sector for example, without recourse to PWDs.
Mr Nyante said this during the first evaluation session of the ‘Stronger Voice’ project led by Voice Ghana, a not-for-profit institution with support from the Young Men Christian Association (YMCA) and Joy News of Multimedia Group with funded from STAR Ghana, UKAID, EU and DANIDA.
The project was implemented in seven Municipal and District Assemblies in the Volta and Oti regions in 21 communities of disability self-help groups.
It was attended by beneficiary groups, duty-bearers, including Presiding Members of Assemblies and Social Welfare officers.
Mr Nyante said it was unfortunate that health facilities had been constructed with staircases, when all means of transporting patients for emergency purposes or wards were by wheelable mechanics such as wheelchairs, stretchers and beds.
He said, “It should be an act of abomination to design health facilities with stairs,” which discriminated against PWDs.
“Such architects, engineers and designers need to go back to school to learn the rudiments of architecture in an era of technological explosion," the Programmes Manager added.
Mr Nyante insisted architects and engineers should design public places of convenience and Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) to standards and promote inclusiveness and integration.
Mr Matthew Amuzu, Volta Regional Director of YMCA said the objective of the project was to strengthen the participation of PWDs in the local governance system, stimulate the activities of the inclusion ambassadors and disability focus caucus within the project Assemblies.
He said prioritising the activities of PWDs into the development planning of the Assemblies was the way to go in shaping attitudes and informing dialogue.
Mr Mike Davidson Ezuh, Presiding Member of Central Tongu District Assembly called for sustainability and replication of the project throughout the country for easy integration of the concept and PWDs into the construction architecture of the country.
Participants called for scaling up of the project to assume a national character, enforce legislations with Assemblies playing key roles to integrate PWDs.