Some eight disability rights advocates have written to the Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Airport Company (GAC) to investigate some reports of mistreatment of persons with disabilities by some domestic airlines in the country.
The latter which was copied to the Transport, Tourism and Social Protection ministers, made reference to an interview on GTV on Thursday, August 11, 22, in which one Madam Jennifer Mensa-Bonzie, a physically challenged person domiciled in the USA, recounted cases of mistreatment against her and an elderly woman with disability, as passengers of domestic flights to Kumasi and Tamale.
The letter said: “In the said video, Madam Jennifer Mensa-Bonzie, a physically challenged person domiciled in the USA told her story recounting the mistreatment and irresponsible customer care she received as a passenger of domestic flights to Kumasi and Tamale.
“She actually spoke for many persons, because she mentioned the most inhumane treatment suffered by an older passenger challenged more than herself aboard the flight to Tamale.
“Madam Mensa-Bonzie endured the mistreatment, forgave and has probably flown back to the USA. But there are many passengers like her in Ghana, and our community continues to suffer the pain of the irresponsible services by the airline operators in our airports for domestic flights”.
They appealed to the CEO of GAC to come up with solutions and directives to make airlines accessible to persons with all types of disabilities.
“As the chief duty bearer in our airports, we the signatories to this letter humbly appeal to you to engage the airline operators and swiftly design and deploy practical solutions to the challenges recounted by the gracious Mad. Mensa-Bonzie. Particularly, we demand that you issue directives and institute an operational regime where physically challenged, non-verbal, visually impaired persons and others with disabilities that diminish their responsibilities and capabilities, once they disclose such disabilities, would be assisted appropriately as passengers to use the aircraft and airports.
“We think it is only civil and, therefore, suggest that facilities like wheelchairs, lifts, mobile ramps and pulleys, crutches, writing and visual aiding devices and the like are promptly provided to assist persons with disabilities (PWDs) as passengers/humans, and at no extra cost to them”, they added.