Lancaster University, Ghana, has organized a conference to help empower persons with disability.
According to Greenstreet, persons with disability should not be considered as burdens, but rather should be empowered to also achieve their life goals.
Parish Priest of the Christ the King Church in Accra, Rev Father Andrew Campbell also issued a rallying call on all well-meaning Ghanaians to do away with attitudes of discrimination and stigma towards physically challenged people, insisting disables “have so much to offer despite how they are”.
The Priest lamented that disabled people in society are not accorded the needed attention and respect, leading to their isolation.
Statistics from the United Nations (UN) show that one billion people around the world are disabled – the number constitutes 15% of the world’s population.
In Ghana alone, five million people are believed to be living with various forms of disability. And with little support being given to these people, Father Campbell has called for greater affection to be showed to them.
Lancaster University, Ghana, had a host of other speakers on the pragramme lineup, with doctors of various backgrounds educating the audience on how to deal with disability cases.
The conference was also graced by Mrs. Hannah Awadzi, who particularly spoke against stigmatizations against children with cerebral palsy, and called on parents to give special care to such persons.
Another speaker who lightened the conference was Richard Adanu, who intriguingly educated the audience on the sexual life of people living with disability. According to him, being disabled “does not mean one cannot be sexually active”.
He explained that most women with disability fear having children because of the backlash that will come their way from family and the society at large. Mr. Adanu continued that physically challenged people also have the right to make families, and called on the society to “allow them live like normal people, because they are also normal”.
Stella Nartey from the department of Psychiatry, Korle-Bu, Yvonne Otubea (PhD) Lancaster University, Andrew Donkor and Eric Larwer of the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital, Mary Edward of the University of Brighton, UK, Samuel Alesu Dordzi and Dr. Michael Subbey, among others, all delivered various presentations to enlighten the public on the issues persons with disability face – while suggesting ways of improving the situation in the country.
The disability conference was held at the auditorium of the Lancaster University, Ghana. The theme for the programme was “Disability and Development: Making Ghana an Enabling Environment for Persons with Disability.”
The session was chaired by Dr. Angela Ofori-Attah from the University of Ghana.