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DINABI Leads Charge for Inclusive Governance: Crafting Charter of Demands for PWDs in Ondo

In a concerted effort to advocate for the rights and inclusion of Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) in Ondo State, the Disability Is Not A Barrier Initiative (DINABI) spearheaded a crucial workshop aimed at developing a Charter of Demands for PWDs. Held at the Sunview Hotel in Alagbaka, Akure, the workshop prioritized the creation of a legal framework and policies to safeguard the rights of PWDs, ensuring accessibility and inclusivity across various sectors.

Funded by the Disability Rights Fund, the workshop served as a platform to collate the needs and aspirations of PWDs in Ondo State. Mr. Olajide Funso Benjamin, the Executive Director of DINABI, highlighted the significance of the initiative, emphasizing its role in channeling the demands of PWDs to the government and political parties ahead of the 2024 gubernatorial election.

Lamenting the absence of disability laws in Ondo State, Mr. Benjamin underscored the importance of enacting legislation to protect the rights of PWDs, including their access to inclusive governance, education, empowerment, and healthcare services. He emphasized the need for concerted advocacy efforts to address these challenges effectively.

Mr. Michael Ogundele, the Programme Officer at DINABI, reiterated the organization’s commitment to championing the rights of PWDs and promoting their inclusion in all facets of life. He emphasized the importance of equity and justice in ensuring equal opportunities for PWDs to participate and contribute to societal affairs.

In her goodwill message, Princess Folasade Arise, Chairman of the Ondo State Agency for the Welfare of Persons with Disabilities, commended DINABI for its advocacy efforts and underscored the government’s commitment to prioritizing the welfare of PWDs. Despite the absence of disability laws, Princess Arise noted the government’s efforts in establishing the agency and providing employment opportunities for PWDs in various sectors.

Mr. Segun Abiodun, State Chairman of the Joint National Association of Persons with Disabilities (JONAPWD), expressed optimism about the outcomes of the workshop and its potential to drive positive change for PWDs in Ondo State. Representatives from various disability groups, civil society organizations, and stakeholders also attended the workshop, contributing to the discussions and highlighting key priorities for the PWDs charter of demands.

Key priorities identified during the workshop included affordable and accessible healthcare services, support for para-sports, inclusive education, agricultural opportunities, social protection schemes, and greater inclusion in governance. Participants engaged in discussions on pressing issues affecting different categories of PWDs, including healthcare challenges, employment opportunities, and the need for specialized services.

The workshop served as a crucial platform for PWDs and stakeholders to articulate their needs and aspirations, paving the way for collaborative efforts to address systemic challenges and promote inclusivity and accessibility for all.

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