To mark the International Day of Persons with Disabilities, a group that included the Human Development Initiatives (HDI) Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT) and persons with disabilities, with support from Action Aids, yesterday, staged a walk from Allen Avenue Junction on Obafemi Awolowa way to the Lagos State House of Assembly.
They were armed with handbills that chronicle issues around inclusion for persons with disabilities in the society, especially quality inclusive education.
They enlightened residents on the importance of a quality inclusive education and why policy makers and government must work to ensure no child is left behind in terms of education no matter his or her disability.
At the House of Assembly, Alausa, Ikeja, the group was received by two lawmakers, the House Committee Chairman of Education, Hon. Yinka Ogundinmu and Chairman, House Committee on Works, Hon. Abiodun Tobun.
Speaking for the group, Lagos State Chairman, Joint National Association of People Living With Disabilities, Dr. Adebukola Adebayo urged the state assembly to make policy on inclusive education in Lagos State a bill to enable it become a law. He was optimistic that if the policy becomes a law, better budgetary allocation would be made available for inclusive education.
He also urged the executive to ensure that a department was created in the ministry of education for inclusive education, with that issues around inclusive education would be given better attention.
Executive Director, HDI, Mrs. Funsho Owasanoye said the walk meant to celebrate the international day of persons with disabilities, is aimed at drawing the society to the plight of persons with disabilities and that with deliberate efforts all child can be educated.
Ogundimu pledged to deliver the message to the speaker, commending the group for staging the walk to promote inclusive education.
He pledged to work with the group to ensure the state Inclusive Education Policy is transformed into law.
He added that works would commence to realize that after discussing with the speaker of the assembly. He commended the governor for increasing the budgetary allocation to education but the state is not yet there.
In Abuja, Persons With Disabilities (PWDs) under the auspices of Potters gallery initiative have called on the Federal Government to set up a disability commission.The Executive Director, Donald Unanka made this call yesterday during the Abuja International Arts Ability Festival.
Commending President Muhammadu Buhari for signing disability law, Unanka called for the implementation of the disability law by setting up the disability commission in line with the United Nations Convention on Rights of Persons with disabilities (UNCRPD) and other international instruments.
The Oyo State government has also approved the inclusion of Persons With Disabilities as members of the caretaker committee in all the 33 local government areas of the state.
Makinde who was represented by his deputy, Mr. Rauf Olaniyan disclosed this at the 2019 International Day of Persons with Disability tagged: “Promoting the Participation of Persons with Disability and their Leadership, Taking Action on the 2030 Development Agenda”.The deputy governor said the era of discrimination against disabled persons in the state had become a thing of the past.
He reiterated the present administration’s commitment to total eradication of street begging in the state.