Persons living with Disabilities have vowed that they will change bad impression that make people to see them as Beggars, urging members of the public to stop stigmatizing against them in public vehicles and places.
Speaking at a news conference in Akure on the occasion of the World Disability Day, the vice president, Mandela Washington Fellow Alumni Association, Nigeria, Ms Folajogun Akinlami demanded from Ondo State government to champion the implementation of disability rights act.
Ms Akinlami pointed out that the demand included taken care off over 30 million Nigerians with disabilities through out the federation because they are suffering from usage of public structures
The Vice President said, “we want to change the impression that persons Living with Disabilities should be beggars on the street or second class citizens at best. Hence we are asking for more employment of persons living with disabilities especially for disability sport athletes.”
“We want the government to sponsor short dramas, soap opera, and jingles to properly sensitized the public on how best to relate with persons living with disabilities.”
Also at the forum, the chairman, Ondo State Chapter, Nigeria Association of Special Education Teachers, Mr Mike Ologbese urged everybody to allow PLWD to have unlimited access to public facilities such as banks by constructing special walk ways.
Similarly, a para-athlect, Mr Johnson Aikuoluwa who spoke at the news conference, begged Ondo State government to provide them with sporting equipment for better performance during competitions.
Aikuoluwa,a special athletes said they have no equipment for training and have been productive by winning laurels for the state and country in local and international competitions.
Below is the full text of the Press Conference:
ONDO DISABILITY PRIDE FESTIVAL 2019 PRESS CONFERENCE
Speech By Convener “Folajogun Akinami”
Good morning Ladies and Gentlemen. It is my pleasure to welcome you to this year’s celebration of the World Disability Day with the theme ” The Future is Accessible ” hosted by The Mandela Washington Fellowship Alumni Association Nigeria (MWFAAN) ably led by The Association’s President, Dr. Abudulkareem Mayere in collaboration with the Ondo State Agency for the Welfare of persons living with Disabilities.
The Mandela Washington Fellowship is a flagship of the Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) sponsored by the US Government to train emerging young African leaders
The Ondo Disability Pride Festival” is scheduled to hold at the Ondo State Sports Complex( Stadium) today, the 3rd of December 2019 and will begin with a parade at 9am, followed by disability sports I.e wheelchair race, tennis,power lifting. We are honoured to have Reverend Mrs Funke Adejumo as our guest speaker today.
This Festival is Unique in many ways, in that it has the support of stakeholders in Ondo State such as Nigerian Labour Congress, Nigerian Union of Journalists, Rattawu, Market Women, National Union of Road Transport Workers, ONE, HOWGA and other associations.
Together we will demand the full inclusion of the constantly marginalised over 30 million Nigerians living with disabilities.
Our demands include
* Inclusive Telecast especially for our deaf community. We want subtitled movies and also sign language interpreters for our major bulletins and newspapers.
* We want sign language introduced as a subject in primary school. So our deaf community can hence forth stop being secluded. This will also help create jobs for members of the deaf community.
* We are tired of our dilapidated special schools that do not truly support these children and so we want our special schools upgraded to the level of “Mega Schools”.
* We want to change the impression that persons Living with Disabilities should be beggars on the street or second class citizens at best. Hence we are asking for more employment of persons living with disabilities especially for disability sport athletes.
* We want NURTW members to stop double charging persons Living With Disabilities.
* And we want public structures to be disability friendly, especially banks, churches, mosques, schools, government offices etc or they pay a certain amount of money as fine to the purse of the government.
* We want the government to sponsor short dramas, soap opera, and jingles to properly sensitized the public on how best to relate with persons living with disabilities.
Lastly, we want Ondo State to champion the implementation of the disability rights Act. All thanks to the amiable Governor Akeredolu led administration, we already have a SA on special persons in person of Hon.Folashade Arise, we have a Board chaired by Mr. Sanmi Alegbeleye, As at today our Government House office in Ondo State is more accessible because of the elevators.
And just Yesterday we were assured of 30 Jobs for Christmas for persons living with disabilities. And we heard a commission is in the pipeline. A little more and we are there. We will push for more, and that push begins now. Thank You.