Mr Lanre Olagunju, an advocate for the rights of People with Disabilities (PWDs), has called on Nigerians to look at the issues of disability beyond the medical and charity perspectives.
Olagunju told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Thursday in Lagos that the PWDs could also be productive, if equipped with the right skills.
He called on the ministries and agencies of government across the country to embark on building the capacity of PWDs.
According to him, government should also design and implement interventions toward the inclusion of persons with disabilities in their initiatives.
“Skills, such as ICT and entrepreneurship, will go a long way in enabling them to develop healthy self-esteem, and in addition, keep them aware of their rights,” he said.
Olagunju said that with skills and the right equipment in place, the people our society regarded as disabled, could contribute meaningfully to the country’s Gross Domestic Products (GDP).
“To adequately cater for the community, the challenge of discrimination and lack of access requires a collective effort from the government, relevant civil society organisations and more importantly, the media,’’ he said.
Olagunju said that the media must constantly engage strategies to raise awareness and change attitudes toward the physically challenged.
“Organised private sector also has an enormous task, because disability issues are essentially human rights-based and they have ripple effects on social and economic development.
“As a nation, we can combine effort toward achieving an inclusive society, same as it was done to gender discrimination, children protection and the most recent, HIV/AIDS.
“It will require that we mainstream disabilities into our policies, processes and programmes, that way, we can keep disability inclusion issues at the front burner so as to record phenomenal improvements,” he said. (NAN)
Culled from thenewslineng