The Ghana Blind Union (GBU) has called on Ghanaians to respect their fundamental human rights and dignity as the Union celebrates its 40th Anniversary this year.
They said societal barriers such as discrimination, stigmatisation and isolation had led to the retardation of the holistic social development of the visually-impaired people.
The theme for the anniversary is “Removing Societal Barriers for Sustainable Development for Visually-Impaired and Partially Sighted Persons in the Region”.
At a news conference in Sunyani, the Union however noted with appropriate training and support, visually-impaired persons could largely overcome obstacles of their impairment, either by attainment of formal education or acquisition of employable skills and thus obtain sustainable source of living.
Mr. Joseph Serebour, a member of the 40th Anniversary Planning Committee of the Union said the successful removal of such societal barriers would ensure full development of the potentials and sense of dignity of the visually-impaired and partially-sighted people so as to enable them to contribute significantly to nation building.
Flanked by other executives of the GBU, Mr Serebour who is the Berekum Municipal President of the Union, said the task of reversing the negative perceptions about blindness in addition to ensuring that blind persons lived decent and productive lives was a herculean one that required a lot of resources.
” Unfortunately, our Union does not have a reliable source of funding for our activities. This has negatively impacted the work of the Union as we are unable to discharge our functions as expected” he said.
Mr. Serebour urged parents and guardians not to abandon their children and wards affected by blindness, but give them equal attention and care as their abled-bodied children.
He further called on the government to take appropriate steps to properly structure the persons with disability share of the District Assembly Common Fund (DACF) to benefit all disabled people, particularly the blind.