Mr Philip Duah, Executive Director, ABAK Foundation, has appealed to the government to take the lead in advocating for equal opportunities for Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) in job seeking.
He said the government should help ensure that facilities at various offices and interview processes were all taken into consideration as far as the PWDs were concerned.
Mr Duah made the appealed during a three-day training programme for PWDs job seekers on the Economic Empowerment Project for PWDs
The programme, which was organised by ABAK Foundation with support from Sightsavers, Ghana Office saw 33 participants undertaking the exercise.
The two-year project would directly benefit about 600 PWDs to empower them with the needed skills and opportunities to get formal jobs or enhance their personal jobs to maximise income.
It has two main components that would be looking at the formal job seekers and the entrepreneurs, where individuals would be taken through writing of CVs, how to prepare adequately for job interviews and basic ICT skills.
Other aspects would look at entrepreneurial skills training, where PWDs already have personal businesses but would be trained on how to register their businesses, have access to financial institutions and register their products with the Foods and Drugs Authority and other relevant institutions.
Mr Duah said there was the need to review or rethink on how interviews were conducted in Ghana, taking into consideration the states of PWDs.
He said, “the interviews should be accessible for PWDs so when we are organising for interviews, we should not think that it is only the abled ones who are coming.”
The Executive Director said in Ghana, there was a gap between the job seekers with disability and the employers.
He said this was associated with psychological defects where the job seeker with disability should not be given the opportunity to work, hence, the need to stop such acts.
“On the other hand, PWDs can equally do the jobs that any other person can do, therefore, I believe that there is the need for the government to find a way for PWDs to be given equal opportunities in terms of job seeking,” Mr Duah added.
Mr Mohammed Amin Mohammed, Administrator, Sightsavers, Ghana Country Office, said the aim of the organisation was to ensure that avoidable blindness was prevented and making sure that PWDs were equally treated.
He said the project was geared towards empowering PWDs to make sure that they were well-equipped, prepare them for the job market and build their skills.
The Administrator appealed to employers to treat PWDs equally as the abled persons in terms of job seeking.
“Sometimes you just need to provide the needed platform for the PWDs to perform his or her task and you will be surprised that they will exceed your expectations,” he indicated.
Mr Maclean Atsu Dzidzienyo, a participant at the workshop, said the event would help them gain knowledge on adequate preparations to meet the requirements of employers.
He said accessibility and stigmatisation at workplaces were major challenges faced, hence the need to put in place measures to accommodate PWDs.