Director laments exclusion of deaf persons from National Conference

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Lagos – Mr David Anyaele, Executive Director, Centre for Citizens with Disabilities (CCD) on Sunday lamented the exclusion of hearing impaired persons as delegates to the forthcoming national conference.

Anyaele made the observation in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos.

He noted that although six slots had been provided for persons with disabilities, none of those selected has hearing impairment.

“The list of delegates showed that Persons with Disabilities in Nigeria has six slots, which presuppose the six major cluster groups.

“The groups are the blind, deaf, intellectual, leprosy, physically challenged and persons with spinal cord injury who will be represented at the conference.

“We observed that in the list of delegates presented by the office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, that the deaf community in Nigeria has no representation.

“We are concerned that this action of the government is in total variance with the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) which Nigeria is a signatory,’’ Anyaele said.

According to him, the exclusion of the deaf means that their views and opinions will not be captured at the conference.

He therefore advised the government to urgently correct the mistake, and to provide sign language interpreters throughout the event.

“We want the government to include four sign language interpreters and the deaf on the list of delegates.

“This constant discrimination and exclusion of persons with disabilities is possible due to none prohibition of discrimination on the grounds of disability in the 1999 Constitution as amended.

“This conference provides a platform to address these human rights abuses,’’ he said.

Anyaele called on the Senate to urgently pass the Nigerian Disability bill as done by the House of Representatives.

“The passage of this bill will reduce discrimination, exclusion and isolation of Nigerians with disabilities among state and non-state participant,’’ he said. (NAN)

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