Social exclusion and stigmatization of people with disabilities

Children and young people with intellectual disabilities in Ghana are mostly discriminated and marginalised in the society. Many parents of such children feel ashamed — it is a widespread belief in most of the Ghanaian communities that disability is caused by evil spirits or it is seen as a punishment from God. The social stigma is often extended to the whole family and that is why some of these children are being hidden or even abandoned by their families and some also have to beg on the streets. Very few of them have the opportunity to live a descent life with the necessary support and education.

 

Many children die before the age of five because their parents often have financial difficulties and are probably not enough informed about the care and support of children with special needs. A lot of people also do not have basic medical and biological knowledge concerning the occurrence and heredity of disabilities which causes many baseless fears and avoidance of disabled persons.