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Impaired, not Disabled: Overcoming Social Stigmas

Keith Bratton | Ghana

Joshua Sappora preparing to water his onion garden. Elavanyo, Ghana

 In Ghana disabled people often become outcasts in their villages. Some of the factors leading to this fate can include villagers’ lack of understanding about disabilities, families shunning their children who have a disability because of the perceived shame that it brings to the family, or the lack of opportunities for those living with a disability to adequately provide for themselves.

Joshua has defied the odds. With help from a local group for disabled farmers, Joshua has become an onion farmer working on a small plot of land behind his house and also on his uncle's farm.  He also raises goats and sells lotto tickets and cell phone credits.

Joshua is proving that the disabled do not have to become outcasts and should be accepted by their community because he, as well as other disabled, are productive members of the community.

 I work to bring stories to people about people, places, and issues to others in an attempt to educate and provide insight in to the lives of people they would not otherwise meet.

 keithbratton@alum.syracuse.edu

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