The Ghana Blind Union (GBU) has noted the fact that the government has given directives that schools should open on the 22nd and 29th of June, 2020, respectively.
GBU has noted with interest that all senior high second year blind students are in the Gold track. Consequently, they are to report to school on the 22nd of June 2020. Additionally, final year JHS blind students will report on the 29th.
GBU wishes to highlight some concerns, and appeal to the government to ensure that blind students are provided with extra safety kits of face masks and hand sanitizers. This is because blind students do a lot of touching for the sake of mobility and identification of objects. For instance, to navigate indoors, a blind person is likely to touch furniture and objects than his/her sighted counterpart.
Again, when walking, blind persons who need guides are likely to hold on to their sighted guides. The implication here is, the blind person is to ensure sanitation of his hands as well as his/her guide. Both situations require more use of hand sanitizer.
In respect to the E-learning, we wish to draw the government’s attention to the following unique situations of the blind learners:
- Acquisition of adequate ICT skills to allow the blind individuals benefit from E-learning information. GBU believes that educational authorities must focus on upgrading blind persons in ICT skills so that they are not left behind.
- Most blind persons do not have adequate ICT equipment. GBU wishes to request that the government should kindly provide all blind students with personal laptops so that they can take part in the entire educational process.
- GBU also calls on school authorities to provide a conducive environment to aid movement and general mobility of the blind students
- Technically, each blind person should have a white cane, but not all blind students can afford, so we call on the government to provide white canes for all blind students.
Peter Obeng Asamoa (PhD)