Sunday, 26 March

Is Ghana’s disability community catching up with digitalisation?

Feature Article
Digital world

Imagine for a moment how you might feel if you noticed that everyone else was using new technology and methods of finding things out and communicating with each other, but you were excluded from these activities, what if you found out that it was difficult to understand how to use a computer, tablet or smartphone? 

Exclusion has been an issue that persons with disability face daily. 

I thought these computers, tablets or smartphones were to promote the social inclusion of persons with a disability because it has fewer physical barriers. People can learn, work, shop and do all sorts of things on these technological devices without accessing any physical structure.

However, when persons with disability are not able to use the technological devices as their non-disabled counterparts, it becomes an impediment to their well-being. 

They are not able to learn, shop, or socialize because they cannot use these gadgets and not because they just don’t want to use them but because they do not know how to use them. 

There are a lot of persons with disability who are not able to use their digital devices for various reasons. Some do not have access to them but others too it is because they have access to them but they do not know how to use them. 

There are a lot of persons with disability who lack the knowledge to use these devices.

Already, persons with disability have less education, less employment, less income, and a few.  

Nations are gradually migrating to these digital platforms, forgetting that a group of people must be carried along through the migration process.

Some persons with disability have no idea how these technological devices are used.

This is not to say that some efforts are not being made to learn how to use these devices. 

There is a need to train some of these persons with disability who are not technologically inclined.

Constant formal and informal training is needed to equip them with the necessary skills and to upgrade their knowledge of these devices. 

If they are able to upgrade and use some of these devices it will enhance their lives, and promote their well-being and a lot more people with disability can contribute towards national development. 

This is a call on the government and other stakeholders not to leave persons with disability behind in the digital migration process. 

They should be included, their views must be sought on how they want the training to be and how best they can understand it. 

The required training should transcend into practicality in their lives so that some of their life needs will be met with the use of some of these digital devices. 

Let’s not leave anybody behind

Source: Mavis Yaa Konadu Agyemang