Press releases > Ghana's disabled
DISABILITY ACT- Database a priority  (October 4th 2009)
Visiting United Kingdom MP, Mr. Roger Gale, has said that the creation of a database is an absolute priority for the provision of services for Ghana`s disabled people.
The MP, who has been working through Voluntary Service Overseas with the Ghana Federation of the Disabled, was speaking at an Accra meeting of the Disability Network prior to his return, this weekend, to England.

“It is clear that Ghana currently has little accurate information about its disabled people” said the MP. 
“Until we know how many people are disabled, what their disabilities are, where they live and how old they are it will be impossible to properly target education, healthcare and employment assistance. The National Council, which now has a statutory duty under the Disability Act, needs to work very closely with the GFD and its member organisations to bring about the compilation of reliable data”
Earlier in the day the MP had met with the new DFID Country Director, Mr. Eric Hawthorn, to discuss the issue in the context of Ghana`s forthcoming 2010 national census.
“The census offers an opportunity to collect information: says Roger Gale “and DFID have agreed to meet with GFD and the National Council together to explore how the opportunity presented by the census may best be exploited.”
The MP also commented upon the need to change public attitudes towards disabled people and to create a recognition of the contribution that they must be allowed to make to society.
“The 2012 Paralympics will offer a great shop-window for Ghana`s disabled sportsmen and women to show how well they can perform and to be seen as role models for the achievements of disabled people.
The passing of the Disability Act was a milestone but there is a huge amount of work to be done to turn the provisions of the Act into reality.  That means that the new National Council, the Ghana Federation of the Disabled and stakeholder organisations will need to pull together in harmony to maximize their effect.  What is needed is not more bureaucracy but action at grass-roots level”.
Commenting on the MPs placement, GFD`s Executive Director, Rita Kusi, said:
In a short time with Roger we have taken some significant steps forward and we shall be following up hard on the foundations that we have laid.
I particularly want to work with the NSS, DFID and the National Council to secure the database that we need to really progress our work, to raise the profile and to realize the aspirations of disabled people”

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