The Ghana Blind Teachers Association (BTA) has appealed to government to extend their monthly guide allowances to benefit blind teachers on retirement.
It said blind teachers needed the guide allowance during their retirement period to make life a bit comfortable for them.
Speaking at the opening session of the National Quadrennial Delegates Conference of the Association held in Sunyani on Monday, Mr Moses Oheneba Koomson, the National President of the BTA, commended government for frequently paying the guide allowances to the teachers.
But, he said, the extension of the allowance was necessary as it would enhance the socio-economic livelihood of blind teachers on retirement and help alleviate their plight.
Mr Koomson expressed discomfort over inadequate textbooks for blind teachers adding that they required adequate textbooks in accessible format – big print.
He said the Association was unhappy over the working relationship between some educational heads and blind teachers in the country adding that many members and non-members of the Association were stigmatized by some educational heads who even refused to cooperate with them.
Mr Koomson said it was not the fault of anybody to be born or become blind and appealed to the Ghana Education Service to ensure that blind teachers were also provided the opportunity to attend interviews and obtain their promotions as expected.
He said the Association urgently needed an office and vehicle to work and appealed to philanthropic organizations, non-governmental organizations, and corporate bodies to come to their aid.
Mr Koomson also appealed to the National Service Secretariat to post service personnel to the Association to help address its perennial human resource problem.
Despite the teething challenges facing the Association, he said, since 2015, the Association has been able to pay welfare benefits totaling about GHȼ56,000.00 to 109 of its members on retirement.
Mr Koomson advised members of the BTA to avoid attitudes and behavior that would make the Association unattractive and tarnish its image as well.
He expressed the Association’s heartfelt gratitude to the Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT) and the National Association of Graduate Teachers (NAGRAT) for their continuous support towards the smooth running of the association.
Mr Ebenezer Nsowah, the President of the Ghana Blind Union (GBU), said the union was working closely with the Trade Union Congress (TUC) to help improve on the working condition of the blind worker.
He said processes are being finalized for the Ghana Federation of Disability Organization (GFD) to be made an affiliate of the TUC to champion the cause of the disabled working in the formal sector.
Mr Nsowah urged the various disabled associations and groups in the country to come together and find lasting solutions to challenges facing them.