Mr. Seth Oteng, The Executive Director of Youth Bridge Foundation (YBF),has called on Metropolitans, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) and Central Government to make accessible their Composite and National Budgets to visually impaired citizens to enhance the inclusion of persons with disabilities in governance at both the local and national levels.
He said “It is time we made vision count,” reiterating the theme of this year’s World Vision Day.
Mr. Oteng advocated the inclusion of visually impaired persons in decision making processes, especially, at the grassroots level during the opening of YBF’s project titled “Access to Justice for Youth with Disability in Ghana”.
The project commenced on this year’s World Sight Day with a sensitization forum for youth with disabilities on the value of their participation in decision making processes and built their capacity to participate in district planning processes.
The goal of the project funded by Open Society Initiative for West Africa (OSIWA) is to secure the future of young people in Ghana through improved juvenile justice and the inclusion of persons with disability in decision making processes.
Speaking at the forum, the Municipal Chief Executive of the Akwapim North Municipal, Hon Dennis Aboagye thanked YBF and OSIWA for their laudable initiative and expressed his commitment to work with them to enhance the participation of persons with disabilities in the decision making processes of his Municipal.
Hon. Aboagye said that government is sincerely committed to improving the lives of visually impaired citizens in the country beyond White Cane ceremonies. According to him, for instance, government has asked schools for persons with disabilities to audit and present their infrastructure needs to the various assemblies so that portions of the District Assembly Common Fund (DACF) will be used to solve their infrastructure deficits.
A former Regional Manager, Bank of Ghana (BOG) and resident of Akropong who graced the occasion, Mr. William Oheneaku-Ntow also called on all citizens to see the responsibility of addressing the needs of persons with disabilities as a collective one. He said it is the duty of all to ensure that vulnerable persons in our communities and nation are taken very good care of and made to feel part of society.
The Headmistress of the Akropong School of the Blind, Ms. Marherla Narh thanked YBF and OSIWA for their effort to help improve the lives of persons with disabilities by ensuring that they are included in the decision making processes at the local level.
On behalf of YBF and OSIWA, Mr. Oteng donated copies of educational audio recordings on MMDAs Composite Budget Making Planning Process and the role of youth to the school to continue the capacity building process. Known for employing innovative approaches and formats for policy dissemination, YBF has made another first by converting MMDAs Composite Budget Planning Process to audio format for the visually impaired.
Source : Ghana Web