According to the World Disability Report, about a billion people in the world suffer from one form of disability or the other with 80% of them living in developing countries. In Ghana, persons with disability, who constitute not less than 10% of the population, face serious marginalization and discrimination in accessing education, quality health care, information, among others. They are often sidelined even in decision making processes that affect their wellbeing. In spite of the passage of the disability act and the ratification of the UN convention on the rights of persons with disabilities, disability issues are yet to take center stage in national development agenda.
For the past five years, the Here For Perfection (H4P) Organization, a non-profit organization based in Ghana, has been working to reduce stigmatization and discrimination against persons with disability.The H4P Organization has initiated several projects, key among which is the Helping Hand TV Show, a media advocacy project with a prime focusof highlighting the contributions of persons with disability to national development and confronting ignorance and negative perceptions that push persons with disability to the peripheries of our society. It also serves to bring to light pertinent issues affecting persons with disability on a daily basis. The Helping Hand TV Show has become the most credible and authoritative voice for the disabled community on TV today.
As the preparations towards the presidential and parliamentary elections in December intensifies and draws closer, the H4P Organization sees the need to ensure that persons with disability, who form the largest minority in Ghana, fully participate in theentire electoral process. In view of this, the organization has launched a new series on its Helping Hand TV Show dubbed the Election Watch Series, through which it seeks to bring greater visibility to the interests of persons with disabilityas it relates to the elections.The series highlights the challenges faced by the persons with disability in Ghana and investigates their expectations of the next government to be elected. It also educates persons with disability about the voting process. The H4P Organization is seeking to amplify the voice of the disability community and also draw the attention of political parties to the fact that disability issues deserve as much attention as any other issues of national concern.
Having already organized a very successful Ghana For Peace Summit which brought together leaders of various disability organizations and political parties to advocate for peace from the perspective of the disability community, the H4P Organization is once again tasking all actors in the 2016 elections to ensure that persons with disability have equal right to exercise their franchise like every other Ghanaian. The Helping Hand Election Watch Series airs on Net TV every Sunday at 5pm and Wednesday at 2pm.