Persons with disabilities (PWD) have been defined as those who are unable to or are restricted in the performance of specific tasks/activities due to loss of function of some parts of the body as a result of impairment or malformation (GSS, 2012). As a result, PWDs face a wide range of life challenges because disability, in whatever form, can reduce an individual?s ability to function to his/her full potential.
Disability can limit an individual?s full participation in a number of activities in life. The 1992 Constitution of the Republic of Ghana provides for the guarantee of the fundamental human rights of all persons including PWDs. In addition, Ghana has signed, ratified and adopted international agreements, such as the Convention on the Rights of PWDs and the African Decade of the Disabled Persons which seek to protect the fundamental freedoms and human rights of all PWDs and to promote and respect their inherent dignity. Disability is now considered a societal development issue because of its direct relationship with poverty.
The development of a nation depends on the important contributions of not only a segment of the population but the collective contributions of every individual, including PWDs. To this extent, government and civil society organizations in recent years have made progress in addressing disability issues, resulting in some positive gains in improving the lives of PWDs in Ghana. Notable among these is the Persons with Disability Act, 2006, (Act 715). The Act deals with issues such as rights, employment, education, transportation, housing facilities, effective health care, adequate medical rehabilitation services, generation and dissemination of relevant information and participation of PWDs in all activities. Currently, activities concerning PWDs are allocated a three percent share of the District Assembly Common Fund.
This has brought some relief to PWDs, particularly those outside the formal sector of employment. In an attempt to understand the situation of PWDs as a guide for policy formulation, the Ghana Statistical Service, for the first time, collected specific data on PWDs in the 2010 Population and Housing Census. This chapter discusses the population with disability, type of disability, distribution by type of locality, disability and activity as well as disability, education and literacy.
Types of Disability
Figure 6.1 has information on disability by type in the North Gonja District. It shows that sight (31.3%) is the most common disability in the District and is followed by physical disability, which represents 27 percent of all persons with some disability in the District. The figure also shows hearing (18.3%), intellectual (15.4%), speech (14.2%) and emotional (10.8%) disabilities as important in the district.
Population with Disability
Table 6.1 shows that the North Gonja District has 703 persons with some form of disability; this represents 1.6 percent of the total population of the district, which is the same among the male and female population in the district.
Disability and Type of Locality
The results in Table 6.1 show that disability varies by type of locality. The rural localities record a relatively higher disability rate of 1.7 percent compared to 1.2 percent for the urban localities. There is, however, no variation in the proportion of persons with some disability by sex in the rural areas as 1.7 percent of either males or females report some disability in the District. In contrast, disability prevalence is relatively higher among the males (1.3%) than among the females (1.1%). In the rural localities, sight as a form of disability records the highest proportion of 29.7 percent of all disabilities in the District and is followed by physical disability (27.6%) while emotional disability (10.9%) records the least proportion of persons with some disability.
In the urban localities, sight once again records the highest proportion of persons with disability (44.2%), followed by hearing (23.4%), physical (22.1%) and speech (15.6%) disabilities.
Disability and Economic Activity
The 2010 Population and Housing Census reveals that the proportion of people with disability who are employed in the North Gonja District is 58.3 percent while those who are economically inactive represented 41.2 percent as shown in Table 6.2. The data also indicate that 52.4 percent of people with sight disability are employed and 47.1 percent as economically not active. Table 6.2 shows that more than 50 percent of persons suffering from the other disabilities listed are employed except persons with hearing and physical disabilities which record 47.9 percent and 38.8 percent as employed. It is further shown that more than half (62.4%) of the disabled males are employed while 37.1 percent are economically not active. This compares with 54.8 percent of disabled females that are employed and 44.8 percent as economically not active.
Disability, Education and Literacy
Table 6.3 reveals that out of the total population of persons with disabilities in the District, more than half (76.5%) of them have never attended school, 12.4 percent of them have attended primary school while 1.6 percent has SSS/SHS level of education. The data indicate that less than one percent of them have attended post-secondary school. The table further indicates that a higher proportion of persons with disabilities (76.5%) have never attended school in comparison with their counterparts with no disabilities (68.0%). A similar pattern is shown by sex where persons with disabilities tend to have a higher proportion never attending school compared to their counterparts with no disabilities.
It is, however, clear from the results presented that the proportion that has never attended school is higher among the females with (81.6%) or without (70.4%) disabilities compared to the males (71.0% and 65.6% respectively). A similar pattern is shown among persons suffering from each type of disability in the District where a higher proportion of the females than the males have never attended school. It is possible that disabilities act as barriers to schooling among persons suffering from any form of disability.
Date Created : 11/21/2017 7:57:40 AM