By Ebunoluwa Sessou
Disability inclusion has been described as the only instrument to empower Persons With Disabilities, PWD, in the society as well as eradicate the barriers to social inclusion, equity, participation and citizenship towards promoting their rights and well being.
One of such inclusion was awards given to people who have been championing the activities of the PWD in the country. The awards had its nominees categories including Most Disability inclusive CSR project of the year, disability inclusion champion of the year, disability inclusion champion private section, disability inclusion media partner among others.
The Project Coordinator, Project Enable Africa, Mr. Olusola Owonikoko said, the Disability Inclusion and Leadership Awards, DIAL, was strategically conceived to celebrate the achievements and progress of the community of persons of disabilities by recognizing, rewarding and encouraging individuals and organisations that are championship disability inclusion across all sectors.
“Building on the progress made by the Nigerian government through the signing of the Prohibition of Discrimination Against Persons with Disabilities Act 2018, adding that the awards seek to further bring to limelight the various challenges faced by persons with disabilities in the society.
The Chairperson, Dr. Joei-Odumakin, in her address disclosed that the maiden edition of the Disability Inclusion And Leadership (DIAL) Awards, alongside the annual Disability inclusion dialogue series will help to further prepare Nigerians with the fundamental information required for the inclusion of Persons with Disabilities in our society.
In her words: “The awards was designed to strategically recognise and celebrate the achievements of individuals and corporate organisations across sectors, who are championing the progress of disability inclusion. The goal is to inspire other stakeholders to accelerate disability inclusion in their processes, policies, programs, and platforms.
“The core advocacy message of Project Enable Africa touches on inclusive means towards a peaceful and prosperous world, where dignity and equality for all is a fundamental principle
“It is important to note that building an inclusive society goes beyond preparing persons with disabilities for the workspace or providing them with skills and get members of the public ready to receive persons with disabilities and begin to see them as an integral part of the society, and that’s part of the goal of this gathering.
“I am hopeful that this platform will help to raise a national discourse for multi-sectoral engagements targeted at promoting knowledge sharing and finding sustainable solutions to key disability issues. It is our collective responsibility to call for national attention to the implementation of the Nigerian Disability Act”, she said.
In her goodwill message, the wife of Lagos state governor, Mrs. Ibijoke Sanwo-Olu, who was represented by Dr. Olufunke Adeyeye comments the organisers for promoting digital inclusion and advocacy for persons with disabilities in Nigeria.
It is particularly worthy of mention that since the project was launched, over 500 persons with disabilities have been empowered with ICT skills in areas which include digital marketing, graphics design, web development, social media marketing, among others.
The fifth dialogue, was targeted towards finding sustainable solutions to key disability issues, as well as championing advocacy for the implementation of the Nigerian Disability Act officially known as the Discrimination Against Persons with Disabilities (Prohibitions) Act.
“Essentially, the Act is a legal framework that promotes the social inclusion of persons with disabilities across all sectors and the state government is committed to running an all-inclusive administration in which no one would be left behind, including people living with disabilities.
She revealed that, the state government has initiated programmes to support people living with disabilities, and more will be done on a massive scale by the current administration.
She however urged Nigerians to support government to make life easier for persons living with disabilities, especially through equipping them with digital skills which is so crucial for career and personal growth.