Disability issues were not mentioned in the 1991 Constitution’NCPD Commissioner
Issues of Persons with Disability have today occupied the backbone of the state as they are now highly considered to participate on issues on the development of the country. In the past persons with disability were always at the back yard and contributing very little, but today the disabled are part of the governance system. The appointment of a visually impaired person, Mr. Mustapha Bai Attilah as Deputy Minister of Social Welfare Gender and Children Affairs, and the establishment of a National Commission for Persons with Disability (NCPD) are great achievements for the disabled group.
These were the words of the Commissioner of NCPD, Mr. Frederick Kamara, on March 6th 2014 in Freetown when addressing members of the media at the usual Government press briefing in the Conference Room of the Ministry of Information and Communications in Freetown.
Mr. Kamara further expressed delight for the inclusion of Persons with Disability in constitutional matters although he did not have the opportunity to disseminate information the way he wanted to. He lauded CRC to have the material in Braille, which he described as a great opportunity because it helps the visually impaired people to be able to read the Constitution by format and understand about the review process.
Kamara intimated that, when the 1991 Constitution was drawn up, disability issues were not mentioned; now that CRC is in session it is a prospect for the issue of disability to be incorporated. The Commissioner raised that the 2011 Disability Act that was passed in March led to the establishment of the National Commission for Persons with Disability in June 2012. He confirmed that, the act has many good provisions that form part of the Constitution. He also raised that disability issues are now looked at and are receiving due attention, a situation he described as very appropriate and ethical. The Minister concluded by appealing to all to continue putting the issue of disability at the fore front.
Abdulai Mento Kamara and Jennifer Kanneh
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