The Youth Section of Nigerian National Association of the Deaf (NNAD) and their team, on 17th May, paid an advocacy visit to Federal Road Safety Corp (FRSC) at their head office in Abuja to advocate for the cause of Nigeria deaf community.
The National Youth leader of NNAD, Amb. Ebuka Okeke, told TQM that the visit is focused on drawing the attention of the Corps to the specific transportation challenges faced by the deaf community and recommending potential solutions to address these challenges.
“We stated the need for the Corps to be aware of the existence of deaf people and their communication needs particularly during roadside checks and interaction. Misunderstandings between FRSC officers and deaf drivers often arise due to communication barriers. It is important to address this issue by facilitating written communication when officers interact with deaf drivers”, he added.
The group recommended to the Corps to create a disability identification card to be provided to deaf drivers and individuals during vehicle registration and related matters. The card would serve as a means of easy identification of persons with disabilities driving, once it becomes available to all concerned persons.
In accordance with the Nigerian Disability Act, we urged the Corps to comply with its specific section that mandates the allocation of 5% employment slots for persons with disabilities. To adopt these strategies successfully, we sought the collaboration of the Corps to ensure effective implementation.
The Corps warmly welcomed them, made commitment to cooperate with them in building a disability-friendly Corps across Nigeria. The Crops made a pledge to produce and provide Disability Stickers, and Special Licence (J Licence) for persons with disabilities for easy identification during roadside checks.
They promised to communicate the outcome of the meeting to their supervisor and expressed willingness to learn the Nigerian Sign Language (NSL) as a way of bridging the communication gap and welcome training sessions on NSL from NNADYS. The visit yielded great results. This certainly is a positive development.
The group were conferred with an award with their leader, Amb. Ebuka Okeke, the National Youth Leader of NNADYS received on their behalf, it was an award of merit and excellence for job well done.
The advocacy visit was made possible from the support of MacArthur Foundation and Ford Foundation.