On the 25th of August 2018, SCORP-UGMSA embarked on a data collection activity in order to gauge the level of knowledge amongst the general public on the rights of persons with disabilities (PWD). There were 10 volunteers from SCORP to help with the exercise, as well as a representative from the University of Ghana Association of Students with Disabilities. The aim of this activity was to reach out to 100 people across all walks of life at the Chale Wote Art Festival via questionnaire as a way to ascertain the attitude of the general public towards PWDs, and the level of knowledge about the rights they (PWDs) have. Funding for
this activity was entirely internally sourced.
The group arrived at the festival at 1:30pm. Despite this late starting time, by 2:30pm we had exhausted all 100 questionnaires. The participants included law enforcement officers and civilians, close relatives of PWDs and people who had never directly encountered PWDs as well as many foreign nationals staying in the country. We had the opportunity to have many eye-opening conversations with people who were in constant contact with Ghana’s PWD community, either
through a direct relation or their own charitable efforts.
Encouragingly, many of the people we spoke to knew about special needs schools and inclusive schools operating in the country. People shared stories of the improvised support networks PWDs had to rely on in their communities. One of
the almost unbelievable stories we heard was about hearing impaired fishermen operating out of Jamestown. While most of the people we talked to were of the adamant view that PWDs did have rights and that their rights ought to be protected, many could not name these rights.
Seeing a great opportunity for publicity to garner awareness, we took the initiative of making placards with empowering slogans and taking pictures of members of the general public posing with them. We are certain that these will be a great tool in SCORP’s publicity campaigns at both the regional and national levels.
We strongly believe that this exercise was a great success in three critical ways.
We were able to educate the people we interacted with in greater detail on the rights of PWDs and correct some mistaken assumptions. On the other end, SCORPions that participated walked away with a renewed drive for the project and a keener sense of purpose. Certainly not the least of all, during our outreach we were able to connect with many people who were ready and very much interested in helping us with our project.
Although our number was relatively small and time was against us, we witnessed the power of whole hearted effort in making ripples that eventually effect change. SCORP-UGMSA is very happy to have participated in such a paradigm shifting activity.
Rahmat Uduosoro (President)
Emmanuella Agyeman Tuffour (General Secretary)