Persons with disabilities (PWD) have been defined as those who are unable to or are restricted in the performance of specific tasks/activities due to loss of function of some part of the body as a result of impairment or malformation (Ghana Statistical Service, 2012). As a result, PWDs face a wide range of life challenges because disability, in whatever form or type, can reduce an individual’s ability to function to his/her full potential. Disability can limit an individual’s full participation in a number of activities in life. Estimates from the World Health Organisation (WHO) show that there are more than 600 million PWDs in the world, of which approximately 80 percent live in low-income countries (Ayiku, 2012).

The 1992 Constitution of the Republic of Ghana provides for the guarantee of the fundamental human rights of all persons, including PWDs. In addition, Ghana signed, ratified and adopted the international agreements such as the Convention on the Rights of Disabled persons and the African Decade of the Disabled Persons which seek to protect the fundamental freedoms and human rights of all PWDs and to promote and respect their inherent dignity.

Notwithstanding these statutes and conventions, PWDs have continued to face various barriers that prevent their full and effective participation in society on equal basis with persons without disabilities.

This chapter presents a discussion of the disability situation in the Suhum Municipality. It focuses on the types of disability, disability by locality, disability and economic activity status as well as disability by level of education.

Population with Disability

The 2010 PHC shows a total 2,881 persons with some form of disability, accounting for 3.2 percent of the municipality’s total population. There are more disabled females (14,081) in the municipality than males (1,400) as shown in Table 6.1.

Type of Disability

The types of disabilities recorded were sight, hearing, speech, physical, intellectual, emotional and others. The commonest form of disability in the municipality is sight impairment, accounting for one-third (35.2%) of all cases of disability, followed by physical (30.1%), speech (15.7%), intellectual (15.2%), emotional (14.9%), hearing (13.5%) and others (10.7%).

The proportion of males with hearing (13.9%), intellectual (16.3%) and emotional (16.0%) disability is higher than the corresponding proportion for females with disability in hearing (13.0%), intellectual (14.1%) and emotional (13.8%). However, the proportion of females with sight impairment (36.5%) and physical disability (31.9%) is higher than that recorded for the males (33.9% and 28.3% respectively.

Disability by Type of Locality

Table 6.1 further has information on disability by type of locality. The proportion of the rural population with disability is 3.6 percent, which is slightly higher than that recorded for the urban population (2.7%).

The commonest types of disability in the urban areas of the municipality are sight and physical. Four in ten (41.6%) and three in ten (33.0%) disabled persons in the urban areas respectively have sight impairment and physical disability. Similarly, in the rural areas, sight and physical disabilities are the commonest, respectively accounting for 31.5 percent and 28.5 percent of all cases of disability. 47


About three percent of females in the urban localities are disabled compared to 2.6 percent of males. Among the disabled female population in the urban areas, 45.0 percent have sight impairment, 32.9 percent have physical disabilities while one in ten disabled females in urban areas suffer from intellectual disability. The commonest disability among the urban male population is sight impairment, accounting for almost four in ten (37.4%) of them. About one in five (20.7%) of disabled males in the urban areas have speech disability.

In the rural localities, 3.5 percent of females have disabilities, the highest disability type being sight (31.0%) and physical (31.2%). The proportion of males in the rural areas who suffer from some disability is about the same (3.6%) as that recorded among the females.

Physical disability (31.2%) is the most common form of disability in the rural areas and is followed by sight disability (30.0%) while hearing and speech impairment respectively account for 13.0 percent and 13.9 percent of disabilities. Persons with intellectual and emotional disabilities were respectively 16.3 percent and 15.1 percent of the disabled population in the municipality.

Population with Disability and Economic Activity Status

Table 6.2 presents the distribution of persons 15 years and older with disability by economic activity status and sex. In the municipality, 4.3 percent of all persons 15 years and older are with one form of disability or the other. Fifty-seven percent of all persons aged 15 years and older with disability are economically active. This compares with 75.6 percent of their counterparts with no disability who are economically active. Among the economically active persons with disabilities, 96.2 percent is employed while 3.8 percent is not. With the exception of persons with intellectual disability (89.0%), more than 94 percent of all persons with other disabilities in the municipality who are economically active are employed.

By male-female comparison, the proportion of disabled males who are economically active (62.4%) is higher than females (52.2%). This is also true for those who are employed (96.8 percent and 94 percent for males and females respectively). It is also seen that with the exception of persons with physical and emotional disability where a higher proportion of the males than the females are unemployed, the reverse is the case among persons suffering from each of the other disabilities. This is especially among persons with intellectual disability where as high as 16.4 percent of the females compared to 6.9 percent of the males are unemployed.

Disability, Education and Literacy

There are a total of 2,780 persons with disability, representing 3.3 percent of all persons who are aged 3 years and older. Among these, 916 persons, representing a third (32.9%) have never attended school, but 861 persons (31.0%) have been educated to the basic school level (Primary and JSS/JHS). There are, however, only two persons with disability (0.1%) who have post-graduate education.

The population of males 3 years and older with disability constitute 1,348 (3.3%) of the total male population in the same age bracket. Among them, 308 (22.8%) have never attended school.

There are 1,432 females aged 3 years and older with disability, representing 3.3 percent the total population of 42,944 females. Four in ten (42.5%) of these females have never attended school, but none has attained a post-graduate education. None of disabled females with 49 speech, physical, intellectual and emotional disabilities have gone beyond post-middle/secondary level of education.

Date Created : 11/27/2017 4:03:21 AM