The Catholic Orthopedic Training Center (https://otcghana.org/) has served Ghana’s disabled population since 1961 and is Ghana’s primary source of prosthetic limbs. OTC also serves many severely disabled children such as those with severe cerebral palsy that limits their physical and verbal communication capabilities.
In early 2022, Access Without Borders and OTC developed a plan to use assistive technology to help Ghanaian children such as those with CP and others without arms to communicate verbally and in writing. DXC Technologies an international technological service business donated 10 computers to OTC and along with private donors set the foundation for a new computer training program to serve Ghanaians with physical disabilities. In making this contribution, DXC representative Mr. Ashif Juwani expressed hope that this seed donation would positively impact the people OTC serves.
Concurrent with the DXC donation, Access Without Borders and OTC developed a plan to use assistive technology to help Ghanaian children that OTC serves including those with CP, those without arms, as well as others. We reserved two DXC computers and with funds from other donors, began remodeling space to create a computer center and technology training program. As the project has progressed, we have expanded our vision to include training disabled adults with computer skills so that they can support themselves financially.
Beginning of the Project Nearing Completion
To fully implement the computer teaching and training program, we are seeking support for 10 additional computers to be used in the classroom and to loan participants to use in school, at home, and in job preparation. Here we present the stories of two of these people.
In March 2022, Sister Elizabeth Newman, OTC Director sent AWB this letter.
Isaac is a man in his 30’s here. He was a painter and while painting his scrapper touched a wire and he was electrocuted. He lost both legs and one arm and is burned on his stomach and back. He has been with us for three months so we could take care of his wounds and get him ready for leg prostheses. He only has the left arm so we have been working on him and he is able to do a lot with it. Now he wants to take a course in computers, he is good with computers but wants to start some online courses that will give him a certificate. Hopefully this will give him and opportunity to support himself when he leaves. Do you think we can obtain more computers so I can plan with him?
Because of disability discrimination compounded by poor economic conditions, disabled people like Isaac are forced to beg or rely on loved ones to survive. However, with computer and technology skills provided by OTC, people like Isaac develop rare and highly desired employment skills to support themselves financially and live stable and productive lives.