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Stakeholders validate PWD diagnostic tool to guide institutions in ensuring disability inclusion

As part of Africa Polling Institute (API)’s Ford Foundation funded Nigeria Disability Research Project, which seeks to conduct research and generate data on Persons with Disabilities (PWD) in Nigeria, Africa Polling Institute (API) in conjunction with the National Commission for Persons with Disabilities developed a diagnostic tool for institutions in Nigeria. This tool is to guide institutions in Nigeria in ensuring that the welfare and dignity of Persons with Disabilities are respected and protected.

Executive Secretary of the National Commission for Persons with Disabilities (NCPWD), Mr. James Lalu having a chat with API Executive Director, Prof. Bell Ihua, Director of Research of API, Mr. Olugbenga Ogunmefun and Sign Interpreter/PA, to NCPWD ES, Timothy Tinat,

In order to carry all parties along especially the PWD community and other stakeholders, on Thursday, 3rd February, 2022 in Abuja, API organized a One-Day Validation Workshop on the practicalities of the Diagnostic Tool where different stakeholders especially PWD community had robust discussions and made input on the diagnostic tool.

The Executive Director of API, Professor Bell Ihua in his welcome address, thanked and welcomed the Executive Secretary of National Commission for Persons with Disabilities, Mr. James Lalu; the participants for honoring the invitation, and thereafter, gave a brief background of the Nigeria Disability Research Project and its components.

Speaking further, he stated that the project is supported by Ford Foundation, its components include: (1) collaboration with university-based Scholars to conduct Action Research studies; (2) organization of methodology workshop for staff of key disability rights organizations; (3) conduct a study on sexual and gender-based violence amongst persons with disabilities; (4) collaboration with National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) to gather disaggregated data on persons with disabilities; and lastly, (5) develop a PWD diagnostic tool for institutions in Nigeria.

He further emphasized the overall objectives of the project and revealed that activities on these components are near completion, and it is expected that the project would lead to the birth of three (3) key reports which would be launched and used by experts for policy and planning.

The Executive Secretary of the National Commission for Persons with Disabilities (NCPWD), Mr. James Lalu gave credit to Africa Polling Institute (API) for developing the diagnostic tool. He stressed that the tool is timely and would be useful for the disability community in Nigeria.

He pledged to work with API on all its projects on disability inclusion and assured other organizations of NCPWD readiness to work with them on area of disability inclusion. He thanked all present for coming and encouraged them to make key contributions towards finalizing the tool.

The Lead Consultant Dr. Israel Balogun made a presentation of the draft of Diagnostic tool (Individual Self-Assessment and Accessibility Tool). In his presentation, he called on Organizations of Persons with disabilities (OPDs) to use the tool to assess themselves as well because the tool is also ascertaining if OPDs and other organizations are doing the right thing in terms of disability inclusion.

The tool is designed to access these aspects; Technical Capacity on Disability Inclusion, Accountability, Political Will, Inclusive Culture, Accessibility Component, Pathways and Routes, Gradients, ramps and ramped Access, Stepped Access, Main Entrances, Reception/ Service Counter, Communication, Internal Circulation, Refreshment Facilities, Toilets, Accessible Bedroom and En-suite Bathroom Design, and  Emergency evacuation procedures.

He informed that the framework was developed using the Ireland Accessibility Standard which is the best in the world when it comes to Universal Design.

Dr. Balogun also said that the tool can also serve as guide for advocacy and assessment of the implementation of disability rights act by MDAs.

He advised that NCPWD should use the tool to engage different MDAs but first of all, NCPWD should organize capacity building of different MDAs on disability inclusion so that they should understand what is expected of them. Then, the diagnostic tool can be applied to check the level of implementation and areas that need to be strengthened.



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