150 PWDs Trained On The Use of Handheld Devices to Access Information/Gov't Services (PICS)
Minister for Communications and Digitalisation (MoCD), Ursula Owusu-Ekuful (MP), says the Ghana Investment Fund for Electronic Communications (GIFEC) in collaboration with GIZ, this year, trained about 150 Persons with Disability (PWDs) on the use of handheld devices to access information and government services.
She said that as part of the training, assistive technologies were provided to the PWDs to aid them in the use of the devices without difficulty – adding, that, several students with disability in Secondary and Tertiary institutions across the country.
The Minister was speaking at the Ghana India Kofi Annan Center of Excellence in ICT (KACE) in Accra, when she delivered the keynote address during a workshop on Digital Accessibility for Persons with Disability in Ghana.
According to her, People with Disabilities make up at least 30% of those who enroll in these digital skills training programs.
The Ministry, she said has established the Ghana Digital Center, which seeks to provide the necessary environment, infrastructure, and services to support ICT growth and also position Ghana as a vibrant ICT hub.
The workshop was organized by the E-Transform Project, World Bank, KACE, MoCD and the National Council for Persons with Disabilities, and it sought to provide the platform for stakeholders to discuss the importance of digital accessibility to the physically challenged, interventions that could be implemented, gaps in digital accessibility, and solutions to strengthen policy directives in this regard.
“I believe digital tools provide the means for providing dignified sustainable jobs for all, and present an excellent opportunity to provide job ready digital skills for all and reduce unemployment, solving multiple problems for us all. Whether you are vision, hearing, speech, developmental or mobility impaired or suffer from any other disability, there is digital technology available to provide you with a decent quality of life. Disability is not Inability”, she reiterated.
She commended the National Council on Persons with Disabilities for partnering with the MoCD in providing proposals to accelerate the inclusion of people with disabilities, which had been included in the Ghana Digital Acceleration Project, and scheduled to be implemented in 2023 with the support of the World Bank.
The Minister noted that government was working assiduously to promote digital inclusion bearing in mind the benefits ICT provides to both the individuals and the entire country.
“We are in the process of establishing regional innovation centers to provide citizens with access to these ICT facilities”, she said.
Mrs Ursula Owusu-Ekuful said the Ministry, through GIFEC, had established Community Information Centers (CICs) in all districts with the aim to support access to ICT tools as part of the sustainability measures for digital training.
According to her, the various interventions that have been undertaken by the Ministry and its Agencies was to narrow the gender digital divide.
The Ghana Investment Fund for Electronic Communication (GIFEC) also conducts digital skills training for people in unserved and underserved communities to address the digital skills gap.
The Hon, Minister used the opportunity to urge the private sector and developing partners to provide assistive technology-enabled handheld devices such as screen readers, magnifiers, captioning, transcription, subtitles, wearable devices, and others to help bridge the gender digital gap
She also encouraged the youth including the physically challenged to utilise the Ghana Digital Centre and ICT Labs to develop ICT solutions aimed at addressing social issues including the peculiar ones faced by PWDs.
Below are some pictures:
Credit: Ministry of Communications and Digitalisation