As storytellers, journalists and writers in whatever sector that we’re in, it’s important that we use our awareness and talents to bring the world back to what matters and share things that can be of benefit to our society. So I want to encourage everyone – whatever you’re holding in, let it out and tell the story.
I visited Ghana this year from July till end of August, motivated by a strong passion and zeal to tell the story of the plight of those disabled in Ghana. Unfortunately, the negative mentality towards those who are physically or mentally disabled in Ghana is still very prevalent at present, with negative attitudes stemming from our very own culture, historical traditions and lack of knowledge. Most of the disabled people in Ghana are not put in the forefront of society, as they’re not given the rights that they so deserve. The laws are there but many of them are not implemented.
The Disability Persons Act 715 (Ghana) was passed into law in 2006, with the 6th section stating that owners/occupiers shall make their buildings accessible and disability friendly. Yet many buildings in Ghana including shops and hospitals are not wheelchairs friendly, and does not provide easy access for the disabled. In the past, there have been reports of deaf people dying because of miscommunication – they were given the wrong prescriptions as hospitals, pharmacies and clinics didn’t have sign language interpreters on site.
Now, what is gold if the very minority are ignored by the majority due to cultural stigma?
I implore anyone reading this to watch my latest documentary shot in Ghana ‘Ghana, disability and stigma’, about disability in Ghana. In it, I speak to renowned organisations and people that work with those with disabilities and their efforts to dispel the stigma attached to being disabled and combat negative attitudes.
Please support, forward to your other contacts and share – lets raise awareness about this pertinent issue in our motherland!
By Myriam Osei (@AngelPeaceJoy)