A private legal practitioner, Felix Ntorsu, who faces physical challenges, has warned of potential legal action against the Chief Justice and the Attorney General due to the lack of accessibility for persons with disabilities within the court premises.
The lawyer pointed out that the Supreme Court’s infrastructure poses significant barriers for individuals with disabilities seeking justice.
The Persons with Disability Act of 2006 (Act 715) mandated that all public buildings become accessible to people with disabilities within a 10-year period. Unfortunately, this deadline has passed, and several public structures still remain inaccessible.
The irony is that the judicial system, which is responsible for upholding the law, operates within buildings that fail to accommodate those with disabilities.
A private legal practitioner with physical disabilities has therefore expressed frustration with the ongoing struggle to access the courts, vowing to take legal action against the Chief Justice if necessary, in order to address the structural inadequacies, particularly within the Supreme Court building.
Lawyer Ntorsu has criticized the lack of intentional efforts to incorporate disability-friendly measures into public buildings.
While some construction companies have attempted to include features for persons with disabilities, these efforts often fall short due to inaccurate specifications.
A case in point is a school building under construction in Kwabenya, where ramps have been included.
However, the Public Relations Officer of the Ghana Society of the Physically Disabled has highlighted the inappropriate design of these ramps.
The officer even offered a demonstration to the Citi News team to showcase the challenges faced while navigating such structures.
The Persons with Disability Act states that service providers who fail to provide necessary facilities for accessible services commit an offense, which could result in fines or imprisonment.
Local assemblies are now being urged to mandate modifications to all public buildings, both old and new, to ensure equal access for disabled individuals.