Persons With Disabilites have called for the commitment of stakeholders towards improving market access for artists and creatives with disabilites.
They made this call during a focus-group meeting organized by the leading disability organization in promoting arts and creativity industry among persons With disabilities in Nigeria, Potters Gallery Initiative on Monday in Abuja.
The Executive Director, Potters Gallery Initiative, Mr. Donald Unaka speaking to The Qualitative Magazine TQM, said that the essence of the meeting is to bring together leaders of disability community for a focus-group discussion to draw up strategies to get commitments of stakeholders in order to improve market access for artists and creatives with disabilites.
Speaking further, he said that the derivables from the focus group discussion is to develop policies and advocacy messages to engage stakeholders to improve market access for persons with disabilites in arts and creative industry as well as getting the stakeholders to implement disability Act in order to enhance the opportunity of PWDs in the arts and creative industry.
He pointed out exclusion to be the great challenge facing PWDs in Arts and Creative Industry.
“You will agree with me that we have many persons with disabilities into creative arts. We have individuals like Cohbams Asoquo, Yinka Ayefele. We need this kind of engagement to produce more of these talents with disabilites”
“Different funding mechanisms in arts and creative industry which is available for artistes without disabilities is not available for PWDs, so these engagements will open up opportunities for PWDs”
He said that implementation of disability law by major actors in arts and creativity industry will provide finance and funding opportunities for PWDs and create more access and disability law is broad so different sections of disability law will provide several access and opportunities for PWDs in arts and creative industry.
He affirmed that stakeholders should implement disability law in areas where they are applicable to them.
Comrade Musa Muazu Musa, the Secretary, National Association of Persons With Physical Disabilites NAPWPD FCT Chapter speaking to TQM said that the meeting is to come with recommendations and solutions to enhance market access for artists and creatives with disabilites.
He informed that the recommendation will go a long way towards access PWDs in creative industry and some of the recommendations are PWDs in arts and creative industry take advantage of existing platforms to promote their arts, they should be more innovate and they should make extra effort to upgrade themselves, and most importantly, stakeholders should be very knowledgeable about disability laws and policies and willing to implement them.
He pointed out lack of capacity, limitations in access sponsorship, partnership and resources, stereotypes on the part of the stakeholders in the arts and creative industry is also the undoing for PWDs, discrimination where major actors see PWDs from the pitiable state.
The focus group discussion which featured over 50 persons with disabilities was supported by UNESCO Diversity of Cultural Expressions.
Also the International Fund for Cultural Diversity to galvanize support and create enabling environment for persons with disabilities to exhibit their potential and strive in the Arts and Creative Industry.