Sierra Leone ODRA sidelines the disabled
The Finance Officer, Disabled International Foundation Sierra Leone, has expressed disappointment at the Ministry of Social Welfare, Gender and Children Affairs for deliberately sidelining the disabled people in the country’s nationwide focus group discussions on the importance of the Open Data Readiness Assessment (ODRA).
Mr. Musa Taylor argued that the two hundred people contacted during the focus group discussions consisting of Ministries, Departments, Agencies, civil societies, university professors and students couldn’t articulate the issues of the disabled in the Open Data Readiness Assessment.
He pointed out that the deaf and dumb are deprived of sensitive government information as there are no sign interpreters in all television stations in the country which stands as an hindrance in the much trumpeted Open Data Portal.
He continued that it was very ironical to noted that disabled organizations in the country who have been yearning for an opportunity for the physically challenged to be well informed on issues relating to governance and how they can access such information now stand as major obstacles as most of the cannot read or write while the blind people continue to clamour for tools and equipment that can covert useful information into brail.
Mr. Taylor pointed out that the rap-up meeting on Thursday 19th November, 2015 held at the Ministry of Information and Communications 8th floor Youyi Building conference hall indicated that the distinguished instructor of civil innovation and data science., Madam Jeanne Holm has concluded the group discussions without addressing the involvement of the disabled.
He called on Jeanne Holm to engage some disabled organizations in Freetown and it environs to get the views of the disabled population and not rely completely on the discussions held with officials of the Ministry of Social Welfare, Gender and Children Affairs.
In another development, Mr. Taylor called on the National Commission for Persons with Disability (NCPD) and the Sierra Leone Union on Disability Issues (SLUDI) to forget about the past and work concertedly to ensure that the disabled benefit from the post Ebola recovery plan especially in the area of housing.
He called on the Ministry of Social Welfare, Gender and Children Affairs, the National Commission for Persons with Disability (NCPD), and the Sierra Leone Union on Disability Issues (SLUDI) to look into the issue of men in the habit of impregnating disabled women without responding to their responsibility, noting that strict measures must be taken to savage the ugly situation.
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