The Western Regional Manager of the Association of Ghana Industries Albert Ababio, is calling on the corporate community in the region to make a conscious effort to create a space in their budget for persons with disability.
He says once that is done they could go ahead and identify persons with disability and draw a program of support for them.
Alternatively, he proposed a scheme where donations to such people will become a common feature on their calendar every year.
Mr. Ababio believes it not that appropriate for corporate entities to respond to request for help only when it is made.
He also mentioned corporate entities could organize skills development workshops that will equip persons with disability with employable skills or skills which can help them start something on their own.
He noted: “corporate entities should consider organizing workshops as part of their corporate social responsibility for persons with disability which will focus on capacity building for persons with disability to enable them to obtain employable skills… by so doing it will prevent persons with disability from flooding the streets to beg for alms”.
Mr. Ababio made the passionate call on the sidelines of a stakeholder’s conference organized by Friends of the Nation to enlighten persons with disability on their rights and privileges as stipulated in the Persons with Disability Act, ACT 751.
For example, he suggested that banks can extend soft loans with equally soft payment plans for persons with disability to start up their own business.
He explained “banks can create deliberate financing to support persons with disability. When we are looking for supports for SMEs we should also look at people with disability who have their own business who they can support with some of these soft loans or grants which they could use as seed capital to start up their own business”.
Mr. Ababio advised Ghanaians to change their perception about persons with disability.
He mentioned that one way every member of society can support them is by purchasing products made by them.
“It is sad how persons with disability will set up a business and because of their deformity members of the public will refrain from patronizing their product. Those who even patronized do not pay the right price…The AGI is assuring that going forward we will roll out communication strategies to help change the unfortunate perceptions”.