Handicap This!: January-February 2021

January 31, 2021

From the January-February 2021 issue of News & Letters

by Suzanne Rose

The pandemic has been hardest on the elderly and disabled. Supplemental Security Income, which is cash to meet basic needs for food, clothing, and shelter, has been steadily collapsing. Over 230,000 people could lose the cash and medical benefits that they rely on. Social Security has closed its network of 1,200 field offices during the pandemic, making it almost impossible for those who need these benefits to get them.

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In Ghana people with disabilities face confinement and in some cases physical violence. Many people view disabilities as a spiritual sickness or curse that can be healed by prayer. People with obvious disabilities or using a wheelchair are ignored when trying to sell their goods on the roadsides or in public.

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There has been an increase in the number of women killing their disabled children. In several cases the mothers committed suicide at the same time or soon after. This heartbreaking fact cries out for a human response to a crisis most are ignoring. People with disabilities, including our children, are entitled to the same respect and dignity that other people have. They are entitled to a life.

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