Lakeside Disability Rights Advocacy Initiative is an organization working with and for persons with disabilities to promote the health rights, education, employment, transportation and other developmental issues for persons with disabilities. Lakeside has worked on several projects in the past years to improve the living conditions of women, children with disabilities and parents of children with disabilities.
Last year, 2020 November, Lakeside through its strategic partners developed project ideas to advance Ghana’s Global Disability Summit that was held in 2018 to facilitate implementation of commitment made by government towards Inclusive Education for children with special needs and disability. The implementation of the project targets the District Education Oversight Committee(DEOC) and the District Inclusive Education Team (DIET), parents of children with special needs and disabilities, Chiefs, Assembly persons, Disabled People’s organization(DPOs), Civil Society Organization (CSOs), the media, core team of the Municipal/ District Assembly, the Regional Coordinating Council and the general public at large.
Inspection of 30 basic schools, both in the Krachi East Municipality and the Krachi Nchumburu District was conducted to know the state and condition of inclusive Education in these schools and to further ascertain the enrolment state of children with special needs and disability. It was also to know the extent to which issues about accessibility has been considered to promote full and equitable participation by all including children with disabilities.
There was sensitization for Headteachers, DPOs, CSOs and the media on the concept of Inclusive Education , its benefit and importance to children with disabilities and their parents. The training and sensitization workshop was facilitated by Mr. Michael Tsikudu, the Municipal Special Needs Coordinator for Ho, in the Volta Region.
He took participants through the various forms of disability, the need for IE and its importance to parents and their children. He also emphasized the need for more resource teachers to be attached to the mainstream schools to help students with special needs. He further asked the media through his presentation to support the advocacy of DPOs and other CSOs in this regards. Mr. Michael Tsikudu also touched on the behaviour patterns of these children and also encouraged Head teachers to watch them closely for early detection.
The Ghana Accessibility Standard Document was explained by Regional Chairman of the Ghana Society of the Physically Disabled (GSPD) in the person of Mr. Carl Kofi Tettey. He took participants through the objectives and principles of the document and the need for its implementation to advance equal opportunities and participation by all persons including persons with disabilities.
He also took participants through the standardize measurement and requirement for constructing access ramps with handrails. He illustrated few good practices and bad practices. He later tasked the engineers from the two Assemblies to commit to ensuring that standard is followed to provide equal opportunities for all. He also told participants that disability is all an encompassing concept that needs holistic approach for its promotion.
Some media campaign and radio discussions on the IE programme was also hosted by the Oti Regional Coordinator of Special Needs and the Chairman of the Local Ghana Federation of Disability Organizations (GFD). The programme was done to give opportunity to the general public on the said topic. They both touched on the role of parents and government in the fulfillment of their obligations. They also encouraged the media to play active role to aid the advocacy works of PWDs.
The resource persons that held these discussions with the Kano Fm Radio were Ms Esther Apau, the Regional Coordinator of Special Needs and Mr. Emmanuel Donkor, the Local GFD Chairman. The general public was actively involved through their phone calls.
The Director of Lakeside Disability Rights Advocacy initiative, Mr. Joshua Agbanyo, reiterated the use of nose mask and strict compliance to Covid -19 protocols. He summarized after every session to emphasize the need for government, parents and other relevant stakeholders to support and provide all necessary resources to the course of IE.
The Director also encouraged the use of the CRPD, the Ghana Disability Acts, 2006 ,and other related disability supported documents as the basis of disability advocacy. He called on stakeholders to make available resources to promote inclusive education for children with disability. He further informed the public that one of the ways to promote independent living is the promotion of inherit dignity of all PWDs through the advancement of education and job placement.
For donations and suggestions, contact the Director through the following;
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