The General Manager, Lagos State Office for Disability Affairs (LASODA), Mr. Ogundairo Oluwadamilare, has called on local government authorities in the state to set up a disability desk that would see to the inclusion of Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) in all programmes and activities of the local government.
He made this call during a workshop organised yesterday to sensitise and build capacity of senior officials of the various local councils and local council development areas (LCDAs) in Lagos State on the Lagos State Disability Law and their responsibilities in its implementation.
He said the disability desk would also help in the registration of PWDs who are indigent or too illiterate to be able to register themselves on the proposed online registration portal that the agency was working on.
He added that to ensure that nobody would be left behind, it was important they understand the state agenda in light of the disability law so that they could make all the programmes and policies inclusive of people with disability.
“It is about making our environment to accommodate persons with disabilities to live a fulfilled and productive life. The question is how many banks can a person on a wheelchair enter? That is an injustice. Because it is already presumed that no person with disability or persons on wheelchair specifically have a business in the bank and that is against the tenets of social justice,” he said.
“Let us begin to design our environment in ways that do not limit, discriminate or disempower people with disability. They are persons with different abilities ready to unleash them and contribute to society. So, we are all short-changing ourselves when we exclude this significant population of the people from the society,” he said.
While speaking on marginalisation, the General Secretary of Spinal Cord Injury Association of Nigeria (SCIAN) and the Youth Chairman for the Joint National Association of Persons with Disability (JONAPWD), Austin Egeonu, said the knowledge of people with disability on their rights and laws needed to be improved while the community and society needed to be aware that PWDs are part of the society.