… Celebrate disability day

Persons with disabilities in Ekiti State have called on the state government to implement policies and programmes that will enhance their wellbeing and give them sense of belonging.

To this end, the persons under the aegis of the Joint National Association of Persons with Disabilities, (JONAPWD), Ekiti State Chapter have made numbers of demands from government.

Among this demands are appointment of qualified persons with disabilities into political positions especially in the rank of cabinet members in order to give voice to persons with disabilities on the decision-making table.

“Immediate constitution of the governing board for Ekiti state Office for Disability Affairs (EKSODA) with persons with disabilities adequately represented as enshrined in the Discrimination against Persons with Disabilities (Prohibition) Law 2020 of Ekiti state in order to give direction and leadership to the agency.

“The appointment of a person with disability to the rank of a Permanent Secretary or Executive Secretary as contained in the Ekiti state Disability Law.

“Renovation of the three Special Schools in Ekiti state with recruitment/deployment of competent special education staff into the schools coupled with an improved welfare package for the students.

 “Immediate implementation of Part VI, section 29 of the Ekiti State Disability Law that mandates all employers of labour in public organizations to give 5% quota of all employment opportunities to persons with disabilities.

“Setting up of Disability Desk in all Ministries, Departments and Agencies and especially Office of the Wife of the Governor.

“Holistic review of all state policies, guidelines and legal frameworks with a clear view of mainstreaming disability components with human rights approach.

Others are “Disbursement of monthly subvention to the Joint National Association of Persons with Disabilities, Prompt payment/disbursement of Bursaries and scholarships to persons with disabilities in the state and Inclusion of persons with disabilities in all social investment programs, social protection programmes and various economic empowerment programmes.

Addressing journalists in Ado Ekiti, as part of activities to mark this year’s International Disability Day, Chairman of the Joint National Association Of Persons With Disabilities, (JONAPWD), Ekiti State Chapter, Mr. Kayode Owolabi noted that though the immediate past government of Ekiti State did her best, much more still needed to be done  to make life better for them.

A according to him, the lack of necessary facilities in various institutions has made life difficult for them hence he called on government to ensure construction of ramps, handrails, lifts/elevators in all public facilities.

He also advocated the need to employ sign language interpreters at Ekiti State Television, sign language Interpreters at various health facilities and state functions so as to give them better Inclusion.

Owolabi equally suggested the need for government to set up a state committee to organize the first Ekiti State Annual Disability Summit to discuss, brainstorm and come up with resolutions on how to make life better for them like their

He called on all critical stakeholders especially the media, religious leaders, traditional leaders, civil society organizations, security agencies and the general public to take ownership of disability inclusion in the state by creating positive awareness on disability rights and issues.

Round Off News/Michael Adeyemo

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