The Executive Director of the Center for Employment of Persons with Disabilities (CEPD), Mr. Alexander Kojo Tetteh, has reiterated the need for persons with disabilities (PWDs) to be empowered economically to be able to take care of themselves.
The founder of CEPD which advocates for employment opportunities for persons with disabilities says, PWDs cannot continue to live on the benevolence of members of the public.
Mr. Alex Tetteh was speaking with DisabilityNewsGH in Tema on Saturday, March 11, 2023, when the Young People’s Guild (YPG) of the Bethlehem Congregation of the Presbyterian Church of Ghana, Tema North District, donated 70 pieces of crutches to his organisation for distribution to persons with disabilities.
The donation formed part of the group’s youth and students week celebration.
While he was excited about the donation and expressed appreciation to the group for the gesture, he also echoed one of the major concerns of persons with disabilities in the country-Job opportunities.
According to him, persons with disabilities have a lot of needs and they cannot wait until someone is touched to donate to them before they can have such things.
“We have people donating money and food items to us. How long can this take us? When we need these items, the basic needs, we can’t wait till somebody is touched to donate the things to us before we can get them?”
“We want to have the financial strength to be able to afford these things. If we need food, we should be able to buy food. If we need wheelchairs, we should be able to buy wheelchairs. If we need crutches, we should be able to buy them. If we need to go for recreation, go for holidays, go sightseeing and do other things, we should be able to afford it. And we can only afford it when we are working.”
“So we want the public and the state to support disabled people to build their capacity to be able to work; to be able to generate income so that they can afford anything anytime they need it”.
“So, anybody who wants to help a disabled person, help that person to have the capacity; to have the economic power to be able to work and to earn income so that they can support themselves and their families”, he appeals.
Mr. Alex Tetteh says, many persons with disabilities have dependants and so it is not possible for them (PWDs) to depend on the benevolence of people to be able to fend for their families.
“You can’t take care of a disabled person and his family. Other people depend on him. If he depends on you, how would that person who is depending on the disabled person also depend on you? It would be too huge. So, the disabled person’s capacity should be built “, he stresses.