The power of labeling discourse in the construction of disability in Ghana

Year: 2003

Author: Agbenyega, Joseph

Type of paper: Refereed paper

In recent times, disability issues have become the major concern for advocacy groups, teachers, school administrators, and policy makers in many countries. There is much work currently being done in many countries in order to find the most appropriate placement for persons with disabilities, particularly in the areas of education, training, and employment. However, there is evidence to suggest that these efforts have been continuously thwarted by the nature and type of labels societies place on individuals with disabilities. These labels vary in nature according to the perceptions, traditions, cultures and beliefs of different societies. This article explores the power of labeling in the Ghanaian society and its effects on the education, treatment and management of persons with disabilities in that country. The paper concludes that unless labeling is removed from the individual and, rather, placed on the problem, our minds will continue to be arrested to see only the negative side of disabled persons, and any consideration for appropriate placement of persons with disabilities is unlikely to work.