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Inclusive Voice for Women and Youth Initiative Advocates for Disability Act Compliance at REDAN Abuja Inauguration

The Inclusive Voice for Women and Youth Initiative recently made a notable impact at the inauguration ceremony of the Real Estate Developers Association of Nigeria (REDAN) Abuja Chapter. The event marked a significant step towards fostering inclusivity and accessibility within the real estate sector.

During the ceremony, the Inclusive Voice for Women and Youth Initiative conducted an educational session focused on the essential aspects of the Nigerian Disability Act, with particular emphasis on Part 2, which pertains to the accessibility of public buildings. This session aimed to enlighten REDAN members on the comprehensive guidelines and standards outlined in the accessibility code, ensuring that developers are well-versed in the principles of universal design. This design philosophy advocates for creating building structures that accommodate all individuals, including persons with disabilities, by removing physical barriers and enhancing accessibility.

Elevating Awareness Among Developers

The session underscored the critical importance of integrating these guidelines into the planning and construction phases of real estate projects. By doing so, developers can contribute to creating an inclusive environment where everyone, regardless of their physical abilities, can access and use public spaces comfortably and independently. The initiative highlighted that adherence to these guidelines is not just a legal requirement but also an ethical imperative that fosters inclusivity and equality.

Through detailed presentations and interactive discussions, members of REDAN gained valuable insights into how they can align their projects with these legal requirements and ethical standards. The session also provided practical examples and best practices to help developers visualize how accessible design can be implemented effectively. This knowledge is expected to significantly influence the future of real estate development in Nigeria, promoting a more inclusive and accessible built environment.

Voices of Advocacy and Commitment

The Executive Director of the Inclusive Voice for Women and Youth Initiative, Okeoghene Jane Akpaeva, delivered a critical explanation of Part 2 of the Disability Act and the accessibility code. She emphasized the necessity of accommodating persons with disabilities in all public buildings, advocating for universal design principles that ensure no one is left behind. Akpaeva’s insights were pivotal in highlighting the importance of accessibility in fostering an inclusive society.

Legal Adviser to the Initiative, Barrister Syrian Dennis, further reinforced this message. He stressed that inclusion is a cause that everyone should champion and advised developers on the importance of considering disability in their building plans. Dennis’s legal perspective provided a robust framework for understanding the implications and responsibilities associated with the Disability Act, encouraging developers to prioritize accessibility from the outset.

REDAN’s Commitment to Implementation

The commitment to inclusivity was echoed by key figures within REDAN. Dr. Ehikioya Okoruwa, Chairman of REDAN’s Abuja Chapter and Managing Director of Planet Next Intermedium Limited, emphasized that the association’s collaboration with the Inclusive Voice for Women and Youth Initiative goes beyond mere rhetoric. Okoruwa assured attendees that REDAN would innovate and collaborate with necessary stakeholders and development control bodies to ensure the implementation of the accessibility code. He highlighted that incorporating universal design in plans and drawings is crucial for accommodating persons with disabilities, ultimately making inclusion and accessibility a fundamental part of real estate development.

Dr. Nwankwo Tochukwu, Group Managing Director of Tochecks Group and Ex Officio 1 of REDAN, also underscored the importance of the Disability Act. He asserted that every developer must enforce that buildings are constructed to accommodate persons with disabilities. Tochukwu provided practical suggestions such as the inclusion of ramps and wider door spaces to ensure wheelchair accessibility. His comments reinforced the actionable steps developers can take to comply with the Disability Act and promote a more inclusive society.

A Milestone in Advocacy for Inclusivity

The engagement of the Inclusive Voice for Women and Youth Initiative in this event highlights their ongoing commitment to advocating for inclusivity and accessibility in all sectors. By collaborating with key industry players like REDAN, they aim to foster a more inclusive society where the rights and needs of persons with disabilities are recognized and respected.

This event marks a milestone in the advocacy for inclusivity within the Nigerian real estate sector. The knowledge and insights shared during the inauguration ceremony are expected to resonate deeply with REDAN members, influencing their future projects and encouraging a widespread adoption of universal design principles. As developers integrate these standards into their practices, Nigeria moves closer to achieving a built environment that truly accommodates all individuals, regardless of their physical abilities.

In conclusion, the Inclusive Voice for Women and Youth Initiative’s involvement in the REDAN Abuja Chapter inauguration underscores the transformative power of advocacy and education. By empowering developers with the knowledge and tools to create accessible buildings, they are paving the way for a more inclusive future. This event not only celebrates the progress made but also serves as a call to action for continued efforts towards achieving comprehensive accessibility and inclusivity in all sectors.

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