Mr Yaw Ofori-Debra, President of Ghana Federation of Disability Organizations (GFD), has called on teachers, parents and peers to stop stigmatizing and discriminating against children with disabilities to promote inclusive education.
Speaking at a sensitization forum on inclusive education at Wechiau, Mr Debra said some people including parents are still having the negative impression that children with disabilities are useless in society and thereby denying them of their right to education.
He said children with disabilities need the support of parents, teachers, government and all stake holders in society to attain their goals in life.
Mr Debra said children with disabilities equally have God given talents and can become responsible citizens in society when given equal opportunities.
He said “some of these children are potential national leaders of this county”.
On his part, Mr Laabiir Edeward Sabo, the District Chief Executive (DCE) for Wa West, said the fear of stigmatization nearly forced him to drop out of school in 1952 when he had an accident and lost one of his eyes but it took the motivations and encouragement from teachers, peers and parents that motivated him to continue his education and became who he is today.
He advised people with disabilities to take advantage of the Disability Fund and register with the District Assembly in order to have access to the fund.
The DCE said the Wa West District Assembly Disability Fund has provided support for 66 people who are into business; 33 in health sector, 35 in education, provided technical aid to 15 people and helped 10 people to expand their businesses.
He said the District Assembly Disability Fund is a national cake and for that matter, no disabled should be left out in the district.
Mr Sabo said “The Regional Minister is always on our nerves to ensure judicious use of the Fund but some people are still not aware of the fund”.
Mr Suoyhir Moses Dery, the District Mental Health Director for Wa West, expressed worry over the issue of chaining people with mental disorders and advice that those people should always be sent to psychiatric hospitals for treatment.
He said when a person is chained; he or she goes through a lot of psychological trauma which can worsen his or her plight and appealed for inclusion of lunatics into the GFD.
Bikyiri Peter, a participant at the programme, welcomed the educational policy of inclusiveness but suggested that government should allow disabled teachers to teach disable children because they understand each other better than those who are not disabled.