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NCPWD Collaborates with Hope Inspired Foundation to Extend Disability Law Enforcement to Grassroots Communities

Memorandum of Understanding Signed to Strengthen Inclusion and Compliance Across 774 Local Governments in Nigeria

In a bid to ensure the effective enforcement of the Discrimination Against Persons with Disabilities (Prohibition) Law of 2018 at the grassroots level, the National Commission for Persons with Disabilities (NCPWD) has entered into a strategic partnership with Hope Inspired Foundation, a non-governmental organization dedicated to promoting the welfare of persons with disabilities.

The signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), which took place in Abuja, marks a significant step towards enhancing inclusivity and accessibility for individuals with disabilities within local communities across the 36 states of Nigeria.

During the event, Dr. James David Lalu, the Executive Secretary of NCPWD, underscored the importance of interpersonal communication in fostering better understanding and awareness of disability rights and protections among all stakeholders.

The Executive Director Hope Foundation, Ejiro Okotie.

Dr. Lalu emphasized the need to address the prevailing ignorance surrounding the provisions of the discrimination law, noting that the expiration of the five-year moratorium in January 2024 necessitates full compliance and prosecution of violators. He also highlighted the forthcoming review of penalties by the National Assembly to ensure effective enforcement.

Furthermore, Dr. Lalu elucidated on the key provisions of the Disability Law, particularly focusing on reasonable accommodations and accessibility requirements for public infrastructure. He emphasized the importance of features such as braille digits and number announcement devices in elevators to facilitate navigation for individuals with visual and auditory impairments.

In addition to outlining the diverse models of ramps designed for specific purposes, Dr. Lalu encouraged Hope Inspired Foundation to register with NCPWD to access government support and resources essential for fulfilling its mandate.

In her remarks, Ejiro Okotie, Executive Director of Hope Inspired Foundation, expressed gratitude for Dr. Lalu’s leadership and the opportunity to collaborate on empowering women and youth with disabilities. She highlighted the successful adoption of the communication structure by the Eti-Osa local government area in Lagos State and outlined plans to extend advocacy efforts to Plateau, Oyo, Ogun States, and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

Okotie announced the forthcoming inaugural meeting of the Technical Working Group (TWG), chaired by Dr. Lalu, scheduled for March 25, 2024. The meeting aims to provide clear policy direction for program implementation and drive efforts towards achieving meaningful impact within targeted communities.

As NCPWD and Hope Inspired Foundation join forces to advance disability rights and inclusion, stakeholders remain optimistic about the transformative impact of their collaborative initiatives on the lives of persons with disabilities across Nigeria.

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