A team of researchers from the Department of Geography Education, University of Education, Winneba (UEW), has met with local stakeholders to discuss the findings of their research project, "Towards a disability-inclusive urban transport system in Accra and Nairobi: a policy practice agenda (SITUATE)."
The meeting, held at the North Campus Mini-Conference Room, was intended to discuss the project findings and solicit input from stakeholders, including the Ghana Blind Union, National Council for Persons with Disability, Ghana Federation of Disability Organisations, and the Ghana National Association of the Deaf.
Prof. Samuel Hayford, in welcoming participants, emphasised the need for involving important stakeholders in all research initiatives, particularly when addressing disability issues, so that academics have a realistic understanding of the difficulties that special needs people face.
Prof. Samuel Hayford
"We are here to share with you, ideas about how we can make our transportation system inclusive for the purpose of promoting social inclusion and enabling our friends, families, sisters, brothers, and cousins to gain equal access to the transportation system so that they can fully participate in life," Prof. Hayford stated.
A member of the research team, Mr. Prince Odame, provided an overview of the project's methodology, participants, research tools, data collection, and data analysis to stakeholders. He explained that the team chose the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (A.M.A) as the study area based on sound reasoning and empirical evidence accessible to them, citing the growing population statistics and other unique characteristics of A.M.A.
From top (L-R); Dr. Esther Danso-Wiredu, Mr. Prince Odame, Dr. Enoch F. Sam and Dr. Adams Osman
Dr. Adams Osman addressed stakeholders on the project's initial goal, "Spatial and accessibility analysis of the urban transportation system." He used illustrations to show how Accra's urban transportation system is designed and how People with Disabilities (PWD) access some of the city's important amenities, such as work, the hospital, the market, and even school.
Mr. Prince Odame, Dr. Enoch F. Sam and Dr. Esther Danso-Wiredu took turns in presenting on the second objective of the project findings. Mr. Odame led the participants on “Urban Mobility patterns and Travel needs”; Dr. E. F. Sam made his presentation on “Mobility needs and Challenges” and “Level of satisfaction and coping mechanisms” while Dr. Esther Danso-Wiredu presented on “case studies” from the findings the team acquired from the research field.
The third objective of the project findings led by Mr. Odame involved various stakeholders such as the GPRTU and A.M.A on their role in ensuring a conducive and inclusive urban transportation system for the PWDs in terms of seating areas for the disabled, providing assistive technology for the visually impaired in terms of communication for the deaf and dump.
The forum was opened at the end of each presentation for questions, suggestions and recommendations from the stakeholders.