The Centre for the Employment of Persons with Disabilities (CEPD) on Friday asked the government to open up the working space for Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) to enable them to exploit their potentials for national development.
“As we mark labour Day, workers with disabilities humbly call on the government, Civil Society Organizations and other stakeholders to give the PWDs the same range of options and the same degree of control over their lives that other persons enjoy,” Mr Alexander Kojo Tetteh, President of the CEPD, said.
Mr Tetteh made the call in a statement copied to the Ghana News Agency at Tema as Ghana joins the rest of the world to celebrate the various workers who were fighting to create a meaningful economy for their respective countries.
He said Workers with Disabilities ought to be involved in designing services, which affected them.
“Persons with Disabilities are experts of their own lives and no other person can make choices for them if they are to live independent lives,” he said.
Mr Tetteh observed that many employers and heads of institutions often marginalized PWDs at the workplace, and kept them away from the decision-making process, depriving them of opportunities.
He said, “Essential services such as housing and transportation are not designed to the needs of Persons with Disabilities; the architectural designs of the offices of the heads of institutions are common examples of how PWDs are denied access to their superiors which affected decisionmaking.
Mr Tetteh said PWDs were compelled to use general solutions, which could not meet their individual needs.
“These general services deny and deprive the Person With Disabilities of their choices”.
“On this occasion of Workers Day, we want to put the spotlight on Workers with Disabilities and celebrate their unflinching support for the growth of the economy, and bring to the fore concerns of PWDs as they join hands with others to build the nation.”
He asked the government to look at the issue of under-representation of PWDs in the total workforce of Ghana, the act of discrimination against workers with disabilities at the workplace, the lack of promotion and leadership roles for workers with disabilities, and the neglect of the social and economic needs of workers with disabilities.
Mr Tetteh expressed concern about the inaccessible working environment, inadequate policies and legal framework for the promotion and protection of workers with disabilities in the country.
He said unfriendly prescription by colleagues in the work environment, lack of vital information about the benefits of employing PWDs, and lack of political will in promoting the support for companies that employed PWDs were some of the issues that needed urgent government intervention.