UN joins stakeholders to impact positively on persons living with Disabilities

By Cleopatra Eki

Stakeholders have been urged to work together to tackle the obstacles, injustices and discrimination that persons with disabilities experience. Promoting inclusion for persons with disabilities means recognizing and protecting their rights.

In his welcome address, Mr. Ronald Kayanja, Director UNIC said as the world recovers from the different strands of pandemic, we must ensure that the aspirations and rights of persons with disabilities are included and accounted for in an-inclusive, accessible and sustainable post COVID-19 world. He added that COVID-19 pandemic has affected communities and societies and as well deepen the pre-existing inequalities.

The event with theme “Leadership and participation of persons with disabilities toward an inclusive, accessible and sustainable post COVID- 19 world” which attracted the cluster of persons with disabilities and stakeholders in Ikoyi Lagos while other joined virtually.Dr. Moyo Kasim, Provost Lagos State College Health Technology disclosed that the Health institution has continuously support all students with disabilities with facilities as well as complusory learning of sign language to help them in the society. According to him, the school ensures the People living with disabilities get the best services and treatment.

We know these rights touch on every aspect of life: the right to go to school, to live in ones community, to access health care, to start a family, to engage in political participation, to be able to play sport, to travel and to have decent work and businesses.Speaking, Mrs. Olubunmi Aladetuyi, Chief Executive Officer, Citizen Health Care Agency said the old or aged ones are sometimes being maltreated, abused emotionally and financially.

She observed that most of the old citizens are more likely to live in poverty and experience higher rates of violence, neglect and abuse and when crises such as COVID-19 grip communities, poor health persons and old persons with disabilities are among the worst affected.Ms. Nonye Nweke, Chief Executive Officer Celebral Palsy Centre, spoke on “Person First: the children with – Disability Etiquette awareness and sensitivity,” emphasized that Celebral Palsy persons should be appreciated first as human beings because they are worse hit .

According to her, most of them are less cared for, and sometimes , abused emotionally and physically , since they cannot express themselves and also face high level of discrimination and scorn. Nweke observed that most of these children are neglected and abuse even with their poor health condition. She advised parents and caregivers to show them more love and care. Mr Danmanplus Otti, Coordinator Media Action for persons living with disabilities and inclusion MAP -D1, urged people to give accurate data and statistics of PWLD to the media to push their course in policy making, planning and governance.

“We ensure that no person is left behind including the albinism”.

According to him, this vision will only be achieve through active consultation with persons with disabilities and their representative organizations.In her speech, Wemimo Adewumi, Nigerian Info FM host Table Talk , emphasized the use of Media platforms, Leverage and Opportunities for Leadership and Participation of people with disabilities to ensure that they add their quota to nation building. According to her, she uses her various media platforms to assist and support persons living with disablities. 

Treasures Uchegbu , convener/ CEO SpeakingFingers Network appealed to all stakeholders to continuously support people living with disabilities to chart their course while no person is left behind. She added that even under normal circumstances, the one billion persons living with disabilities worldwide are less likely to enjoy access to education, healthcare and livelihood or to participate and be included in the community.

The highpoint were a tribute to late Dr Ubong King, Board Chairman Save our women and girls foundation [SOW&G] Free copies of sign language flyers and posters printed by Hajia Islamiat president ACEP were given to all participants.LASCOHET lead team did a special presentation on disability observance /commemorative days.

Treasures Uchegbu , convener/ CEO SpeakingFingers received award from Mrs. Olubunmi Aladetuyi CEO Citizen Health Care Agency, National Anthem and Dance group by Hope Foundation School for the Deaf.Others were Drama on Lead Where You Are By SpeakingFingers LifeWorkReady Deaf Teens , Special video Presentations Myth – Busters on Disability, Documentary- Diamonds in the Rough By Charles Umoinyang CEO / Lead Versimedia, demonstration on Practical Unarmed Tactical Self -Defence- by Grand Master Sunday Igbenidion, African Representative – GUT-DA and Team and cutting of commentative cake by Mrs. Sikuola Adewuyi -CEO Cake ‘n’ Candy Confectionary amongst others.

Some of the speakers at the event were Mrs. Amanda Demechi – Asagba, President African Women Lawyers, Mrs. Oluyemisi Olaitan , Chairman Lagos State Deaf Women Association, SF Champion Anah Queenveec Kenneth Nze Mamab, Lady Sussan Ihuoma Kelechi-SFN Volunteer, Techical Advisor, physical cluster , Emmanuel Awiri, CEO , Glightup 360 Media ,SPN Volunteer Technical Adviser, Blind Cluster.
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