The National Council on Persons with Disability has outlined series of activities to celebrate this year’s International Day of Persons with Disability (IDPD).
The 2018 IDPD will be held globally on the theme, Empowering Person with Disabilities and Ensuring Inclusiveness and Equality.
The celebration, which according to the Council is expected to be observed across the various regions in the country would span from Thursday, November 29 and climax on Monday December 3, 2018.
Some of the activities include the National launch of the celebration at the Akropong School for the Blind on Thursday November 29, a forum on the Disability Fund on Friday, 30th November as well as some disability sports.
Others include a grand Durbar to climax the day on Monday, 3rd November, Health screening, trade bazaar as well as job summit for Persons with disability.
Since 1992, the United Nations International Day of Persons with Disabilities (IDPD) has been annually observed on 3 December around the world.
This year’s theme focuses on the empowering persons with disabilities for the inclusive, equitable and sustainable development envisaged in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
The 2030 Agenda, pledging to “leave no one behind,” is an ambitious plan of action of the international community towards a peaceful and prosperous world, where dignity of an individual person and equality among all is applied as the fundamental principle, cutting across the three pillars of the work of the United Nations: Development, Human Rights and Peace and Security. It is critical to ensure, in this regard, the full and equal participation of persons with disabilities in all spheres of society and create enabling environments by, for and with persons with disabilities.
Speaking to the media after a meeting with Disabled People Organizations (DPOs) in Accra last week, the Acting Executive Secretary of National Council on Persons with Disability, Mr Kwamena Dadzie- Denis, indicated that, “this year, we have requested all MMDAs to celebrate the day. A circular around has been sent for the MMDAs to celebrate it as such because it is a national programme.”
Mr Dadzie- Denis said the essence of the celebration is to raise awareness on issues of disability because disability issues are mostly treated as afterthought, while most people do not concentrate so much on those issues.
According him, it is to give maximum attention to disability issues “ that the United Nations decided to dedicate the Day so that on that day, the whole world’s attention would be on the issues of disability. In fact in Ghana, we have sent circulars round that every district should celebrate the day. What we will do during the day is to raise very important issues of disability.”
He told the press that government carries out a number of programmes to ensure that a right environment is created for Person with disabilities. “So on the Day, we want to look at the programmes that government is already implementing and we would want to find out whether it is having the desired impact on Persons with disability.
Mr Dadzie- Denis explained that the disability fund in particular is a very important policy but has had some challenges, thus as part of the activities for the celebration, “we will have a forum to meet state actors and the beneficiaries and find out how the policy is faring.”
He said issues of accessibility standards for the built environment the and how it is being implemented would also be discussed,
He added, “On that day, we will also draw the attention of Persons with disability to programmes and other policies that the government has put in place for them. We know that there are persons with disability who do not access the disability fund because they don’t not know about it. So the day would be used to educate them on what to do in order to be able to access the disability fund. We will also call on policy makers and policy implementers to focus on persons with disability.
By Mohammed Suleman