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Respect rights of children with Special needs -Appoh

A Deputy Minister for Gender, Children and Social Protection and Member of Parliament for Gomoa Central, Ms Florence Rachael Appoh, has called for more education to sensitise people to the rights and needs of children with special needs.

According to her, such children need special care to help them to develop their full potential and should, therefore, not be neglected but supported accordingly.

The deputy minister said this when she visited the New Horizon Special School in Cantonments, the Dzorwulu Special School and the State School for the Deaf at Ashaiman recently.

She said the ministry was aware of some of the challenges, including other disability challenges, faced by these facilities, which included discrimination, lack of hearing empowerment gadgets to facilitate the hearing of students, poverty and psychological and emotional problems, saying that, “all these problems cannot be solved by your school authorities and your parents alone”.

She said parents of such children needed psycho-social counselling to educate them on discrimination, saying that most parents were known to prefer their able-bodied children to go to school at the expense of a child with disability.

According to her, persons with disability, even when given the requisite employable skills, are discriminated against in the job market, especially in the private sector. 

However, she said, in the developed countries, employers preferred persons with disabilities who had the requisite knowledge and skills to work in their organisations, saying that persons with disability were very effective at their workplaces and did not move about during working hours.

She said, “Disability is not inability. It is talents, creativity and skills of the person that matters and not his physical disability.

The holistic use of human capital is very important for the development of our country,” she added.

The ministry, she said, had put in place a plan to train social workers in hospitals to communicate effectively with people with hearing impairment so as to access health care in the hospital in Accra, saying that “we hope to extend this service to the rest of the regions in the future.”

The Administrative Director of the New Horizon Special School, Ms Vannessa Adu-Akosa, thanked the deputy minister for her visit and called for governmental support for such institutions and children with special needs.

She said the school could hold 200 pupils in its educational section and shelter workshop but said it could not afford to pay more teachers.

She, therefore, called on the government to help by paying the salaries of teachers in the school.

 

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