By Patrick Biddah
The issue of persons with disability which has been put behind the burner, has been resurrected, but this time ,with a focus on young persons living with disabilities.
The Foundation For Security and Development ( FOSDA) , which is resurrecting the issues concerning persons living with disabilities, has urged government and civil society organizations to engage young persons living with disabilities during the decision-making process in governance.
At a sensitization workshop in Accra, FOSDA, argued that persons living with disabilities have been marginalized over the years but more marginalized are young people living with disabilities whose issues leave much to be desired hence the need to focus on how to put them up for consideration at the governance level.
The sensitization workshop which was under the theme: Promoting The Inclusion And Participation Of Youth With Disability, was to help mobilise these youth for representation in the decision-making process and how to get their challenges brought to the front burner.
Organized by FOSDA with support from Oxfam and Ghana Federation With Disability, all civil society organizations and youth groups attended the workshop.
Speaking at the workshop, the Executive Director for FOSDA, Madam Theodora Anti , stressed the need for young persons living with disabilities to have place at the decision-making table.
“ If people with disability are marginalized, how much more young people with disabilities? They are heavily marginalized “, she noted.
“ When we went around we realized that it was difficult to find young people living with disabilities occupying leadership positions .Those who have even been considered are between the ages of 50 and 60 years “, she revealed.
According to Madam Anti, the reasons for these young people to be marginalized are not because they are not available with competencies but largely because the system does not recognize giving positions to people with disabilities.
The closest in terms of recognition according to the Executive Director is the giving of handouts and donation but occupying leadership positions remains a challenge.
She further indicated that the health needs of these young people living with disabilities have also not been properly considered explaining that no one gets to explain to their doctors about their complains when they go to the hospitals.
Aside the health issues, she complained about the manner in which the educational facilities for the youth are not disability friendly in view of access.
The issues of cultural and traditional beliefs which have contributed to the marginalization , she added has made these persons virtually voiceless .
For her, the advocacy for support should not only be done the disabled but the able-bodied too in order to achieve a desirable result.
Without leaving the issues left at the workshop however , she served notice of coming out with a communicaque which will be copied to the Ministry Of Gender, the Disability Council and the Youth Council for attention to be given to the youth living with disabilities in order for them to exhibit their potential and competencies.