Disability Needs Foundation is a civil society organization based in Accra, Ghana. We are a nongovernmental, not-for-profit private foundation run and controlled by persons with disabilities. We are a support, social and advocacy foundation serving these targets group of persons who have general disabilities, and their families, and the vulnerable in Ghana. Our goal is to help this target group of people to receive the needed support in a practical way focusing on issues, trends, ways and means by which we can obtain sustainable livelihood, a better living condition and financial security.
- We believe in and campaign for the right of disabled people to be fully involved in policy-making process.
- We work to build a stronger and more united disability family, with special attention to those with significant and multiple disabilities, those who face multiple discrimination or any other form of marginalization.
- We build alliances with all those organizations that share our goals and help us to promote the rights of disabled people. With these partners, we exchange ideas and experience, enriching our work with their know-how and expertise.
Our meetings and social activities are open to family, friends and the general public. We do not maintain strict confidentiality of member identities and comments because by this we advocate about their peculiar condition so that they will understand their needs and how they can offer support.
We offer our members mutual encouragement, try to connect our members with the right services, organize social activities, and advance our policy interests.
Our mission is to be a mouthpiece and watchdog for people with disabilities in Ghana through research and advocacy and to facilitate high impact programs design to empower people with disabilities and their families to meet their own needs.
- Awareness’ aims to change perceptions and stereotypes of persons with disabilities among the general public.
- To engage in various interactive sensitization programs with parents / guardians of disable children, disable persons etc, as a means of promoting knowledge on disability issues, best practices and procedures in care and support.
- Program initiatives which basically deal with advocacy, sensitization, capacity building, grassroots community mobilization, and economic empowerment.
- Promoting awareness-training programmes regarding persons with disabilities and the rights of persons with disabilities.
- To engage in fund raising efforts to generate resources for the smooth implementation of programs, activities of this organization.
- Advancing education through development of their skills and capabilities to enable them to participate fully in society as independent people.
- Relieving unemployment
- Providing leisure and recreational activities
- Monitoring and evaluating projects and services
- Taking all lawful actions necessary or desirable to achieve their objectives
- Recruiting and training local volunteers as field officers to develop and implement local projects
- Promoting education among the disability community through sponsorship and programs
- Promoting interaction among disability communities through exchange programs and cross country events and activities
- Networking with agencies and responding to the needs of people with disabilities who are at risk due to medical conditions
- Setting up self-help projects within local communities to support people with disabilities and their family members
- Network with similar associations locally and internationally
Our vision is to inspire, motivate and demonstrate by individual and corporate action ways of changing conditions for persons with disabilities through raising our voice and sharing our need to feel included, recognized, loved, and have a better life.
Our future plans include the following objectives:
- To establish a wheel chair and other walking aids manufacturing centre to give these services free to the needy.
- To set up a computer training centre which will be equipped with Arev software to enable visually impaired alike to receive free training in ICT
- To set up a Job Training and Placement Centre (JTPC) whose mission will be to connect job seekers with disabilities and potential employers
- Attorney service to litigate cases of discrimination and others based on the grounds of disability.
- Provide information on the relevant state authorities and current legislation on the disability act and government policies at the districts, regional and the national level.
- To continue advocating for Independent Living which to us means that we demand the same choices and control in our every-day lives that our non-disabled brothers and sisters, neighbors and friends take for granted.
- To advocate with other disability organizations on issues of accessibility.
- To create awareness against Diabetes and other diseases that courses disabilities and undertakes screening with medical professionals and offer treatment.
- To set up a resource centre for people to be better informed about disability issues conditions.
The Disability Needs Foundation was founded by Executive Director, Billy Wilson, and Operational Director, Agnes Fobi on October 22, 2007. Agnes and Billy are two persons with disabilities in Ghana who advocate for the employment and rights of persons with disabilities in Ghana. Our organization is well-registered with number G22.269
In 2007, the founder recognized the need for cooperative action to addressing the welfare needs of persons with disabilities and their families in a more practical ways founded this civil society organization by the name Disabilities Needs Foundation.
An avenue to collect funds and other logistical donations through local and international businesses and donor organizations for this local charity was created to coordinate relief services, counsel and make emergency assistance in grants for these target groups of people with divers needs. These services will also give support to their educational, vocational training, mobility assistance, surgical and medical interventions, and small business development funds for persons with disabilities. The idea was shared to a few friends who were disabled themselves and they opted to join in achieving this aim.
The Foundation focuses on issues, trends, ways and means by which we can obtain sustainable livelihood and financial security and to make a difference in the lives of these target groups of persons to advance the common good.
As part of our commitment regarding our objective, we have acquired some hectares of land which will be use to establish a multipurpose income generating and training centre in not too distance future where many of them will be giving practical training and employment opportunities.
In considering what work persons with disabilities can do, it will be assumed that a great majority can do something. The question is not necessarily a quota of employment for them, it is rather equipping them with the appropriate skills and competence to make them self reliant. Even if they are reported to be employed the question arises as to the quality and level of employment and with what constrains and frustration.
Our research has shown that one of the major problems confronting them is appropriate education and entrepreneurship and unfortunately a large number of them do not attend school because their parents are poor and cannot afford the cost of school fees, school uniform, wheelchairs, crutches, etc. secondly, many of their parent and the society do not see them as anything good because of their disabilities. A large number of persons with disabilities in Ghana do not earn money to meet their basic needs. This is because there is no jobs availability for them and so they have no sustainable livelihood and retirement benefits.
With the rising cost of social services like housing, healthcare, transportation, and education life has become unbearable to the majority of them.
Many of them have Neurological Disorders, with the very large number being parent with children with Cerebral Palsy, Epilepsy and Alzheimer’s. Others have Autoimmune Diseases like Lupus, Multiple Sclerosis and also much other disability needs. These parents have very serious stigmatization mostly in the houses they live as tenants and in the communities. The husband of many of these children have left their matrimonial home because these children are a bad luck to them and so the care have been left to their mothers and many of them are not in any gainful employment.
As a result of this unfortunate situation the mothers are not able to send their children to the hospital for psychotherapy treatment because they cannot pay for the almost every day transport cost and medication. Problems like an unexpected ejection from their homes by landlords because of all manner of superstitious believes are quite rampant.
It is against this background that Disabilities Needs Foundation is making frantic effort in working towards meeting these needs.
Our activities, services and programs include advocacy and sensitization on disability issues, disability stigmatization. Economic empowerment, employment opportunities, creation of enterprise livelihood, capacity building, skills training, women’s priority issues, Parental care and support, cooperative development, orthopaedic surgery, artificial limb fittings, assistive devices, carrier counselling and guidance particular among persons with disabilities.
In 2014, DNF had a project partnership with a U.S. group of researchers known as the Ghana Strong Initiative, which supported our school sensitization advocacy project and our Portraits of Ability research project with our members.