Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Cerebal Palsy Day is October 7th


Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Making Derogatory Remarks about the Disabled is an Offence - Lawyer

Nana Akwasi Awuah, a Legal Practitioner and a Social Activist, says making derogatory remarks about persons with disability (PWDs) could attract a fine of GH₡ 600 or three months imprisonment or both.

He, therefore, advised the public to be very cautious in their dealings with PWDs and endeavour to treat such persons well.

Mr Awuah gave the advice when he met with members of Share Care Ghana, a non-governmental organisation that advocate people with autoimmune diseases, or long term illness, over the weekend to educate members on their rights.

Citing section 37 of the disability law, Mr Awuah, emphasised that it is an offence to use a person’s disability to insult him or her and make derogatory remarks about the person.

“A Person shall not call a person with disability derogatory names because of the person’s disability,” he said urging people with disability to test the law in that direction, since that could deter people from engaging in such unacceptable behaviours.

“A person who commits such an offence and is liable on summary conviction to a fine no exceeding 50 penalty units or to a term of imprisonment not exceeding three months or both,” he added.

On education, the Lawyer said, heads of schools should not refuse children with disability admission, saying that is also an offence.

Mr Awuah reading portions of the constitution to members said: “A person responsible for admission into a school or any learning institution shall not refuse to give admission on account of disability, unless the disability has been assessed by the Ministry responsible for Education in collaboration with the Ministry of Health.”

Some mothers of children who are Cerebral Palsy complained that their children have been refused admission in some public schools on account of their disability and felt helpless

A mother whose child is 12 years old said: “My child has never stepped into a classroom, because some school heads had earlier refused her admission, so now I teach her at home, she is able to count 1,2,3, and A,B,C”

Some of the mothers also said their children are given derogatory names such as “children of the river god” (Nsuo Ba) and expressed readiness to test the law to deter the public from engaging in such deviant behaviours

Ms Farida Bedwei, a Software Engineer, who is also Cerebral Palsy, also called for efficient assessment centres for children with disabilities to enable the parents know whether the children should attend a special school or a normal school.

By Hannah Awadzi