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IDPD: Persons with disabilities demand inclusiveness in Nigeria

As the world commemorates the International Day of Persons with Disabilities on December 3, 2023, individuals with disabilities in Nigeria are urging for comprehensive inclusion in all facets of human activities.

The Joint National Association of Persons with Disability (Jonapwd) in Kaduna State in collaboration with the Coalition of Associations for Leadership, Peace, Empowerment & Development (CALPED), organised an interactive session with various clusters in the state, to celebrate the day and called on all stakeholders to persistently advocate for inclusiveness in all human endeavors.

The occasion was held at the Kaduna State Rehabilitation Board, the gathering drew attention from media organisations to emphasise the importance of inclusiveness in all human activities involving persons with disabilities.

The State Chairman of the association, Comrade Suleman Abdulazeed, underscored the urgent need for total inclusiveness and accessibility for Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) in Nigeria.

The theme for the 2023 International Day of Persons with Disabilities (IDPD) is: “United in Action to Rescue and Achieve the SDGs for, with, and by Persons with Disabilities.”

The gathering brought together representatives from all clusters of disabled persons in the state to engage in dialogue and discuss on issues affecting them.

According to Abdulazeed, the call for inclusiveness is imperative, considering the pivotal roles played by religious and traditional leaders, as well as concerned civil society organisations in the country. He emphasised the desire of PWDs to be included in all aspects of human activities, including jobs, opportunities, appointments, and more.

On his part, Mallam Ibrahim Abubakar, the State Chairman of the Nigerian Association for the Blind, expressed concern over the rising costs of educational materials and mobility aids, such as white canes for blind students across the 19 Northern states of Nigeria.

He highlighted the impact of digital literacy challenges on blind children and called on the state government and affluent individuals to provide scholarships for economically disadvantaged blind students.

Similarly, the Kaduna State Chairman of the Association of Deaf, Mallam Mohammed Musa Iya, lamented discrimination, inadequate accessibility, and the absence of sound and communicative devices affecting real communication between the deaf community and others.

He then urged event and conference planners to incorporate sign language interpreters to facilitate effective communication and participation of deaf persons.

The Coalition of Associations for Leadership, Peace, Empowerment & Development (CALPED), represented by Mr. Steven Waya, pledged ongoing technical support to the cause.

Waya emphasised the organisation’s commitment to assisting the disabled community and called for collaborative efforts from all relevant stakeholders to ensure inclusiveness for all clusters of disabled groups in the state.

In conclusion, Mallam Nuhu Ayuba, the Association of Sign Language Interpreters of Nigeria (ASLIN) Kaduna State, expressed solidarity with all disabled groups across the 23 local government areas in support of December 3, 2023.

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