By Chris F. Pewu (intern)
The executive director of Mission of Hope for the Disabled and the deputy director of Disabled of Like Minds, Victor S. Wilson, has appealed to President George Weah to make available one percent of every 100 appointments to the disabled community.
In an interview with the Daily Observer on Tuesday, Wilson said the Act that established the National Commission on Disabilities as an autonomous agency in 2005 stated that qualified disabled persons must be employed at government ministries, agencies, and corporations.
He further intimated that the Act was geared towards the encouragement and protection of disabled persons based on the merit system; and for every 100 non-disabled employees, 4 percent must either be qualified disabled persons to be employed or funds be provided for their employment elsewhere.
Section 6 of the Act recommends that the Act that established the Ministry of Education should be amended to allow for the Bureau of Special Education within the ministry to be headed by an assistant minister, along with three directors – one each for the education of the blind, the deaf, and the physically challenged.
For that, Wilson called on President Weah to bring new people to the National Commission on Disabilities, who will then bring new innovations to give the Commission a new focus.
Wilson said the stigma of being someone with any form of disability and the discriminatory practices that they are forced to experience are key factors that should make the government give them equal opportunities in employment.
Samuel Dean, chairman of the Disabled of Like Minds, who is also the founder and chief executive officer of the Florence A. Tolbert and the Disabled Advocates Incorporated, said members of his community have offered their prayers to move President Weah to give them some hope.
Dean said the disabled community has been overlooked for many opportunities. “Some of us are more qualified than those who are not disabled and are given lucrative jobs by the government,” he said.
According to the Act establishing the National Commission on Disabilities of 2005, the numerical strength of the disabled population constitutes 16 percent of the general population.