The Nigerian Association of the Blind, NAB has called for the need to establish inclusive education and employment opportunity for Visually Impaired Persons in Nigeria.
The association also called for the full implementation of the National Disability Act with the aim of building an inclusive and accessible society in the post COVID-19 era.
In a press statement issued in commemoration of the International Day of Persons with Disabilities, Oluwakemi Odusanya, the Director, Administrative Service, NAB noted that the role of the government, private organizations, education and employment sector would help to build an inclusive and accessible space that will accommodate every individual needs.
Odusanya said, “in order to ensure that no one is left behind, NAB joins hands with disability clusters, international agencies, civil societies, government, private organizations, to exacerbate for an inclusive and accessible society in the post covid-19 era, through the implementation of the National prohibition act for persons with disabilities in Nigeria.”
she also called for the “domestication of the Marrakesh treaty in Nigeria, to ensure that blind and otherwise print disabled individuals are given equitable access to print materials, and also ensure that qualified blind and partially sighted persons are gainfully employed and equipped with right tools to carry out their duties.”
Speaking to the theme of the IDPD 2020, “building back better: toward a disability- inclusive, accessible and sustainable post covid-19 world”, Odusanya explained that many persons with disabilities were affected by the pandemic
She explained that, “the effect of covid-19 struck more on persons with disabilities, as there has been massive downsizing of workers and in some cases, total closure of businesses, and equitable education is questionable, while the alternate learning methods were not designed to be inclusive for PWDs, who are more vulnerable to domestic violence during the lock down.
“Against the above, our weapon against the corona virus which includes, washing hands, social distancing, use of alcohol based sanitizers, to which most of the jingle are not available in accessible formats.
“Social/ physical distancing is almost impossible for blind and visually impaired persons who rely on support from another.”
Odusanya said, “looking back, 2020 has been a year like no other, COVID-19 throughout the world, not considering age, nationality, disability, religion. But in all, we sail through the huddles, pains, chains.
Stressing that the annual commemoration of the IDPD is meant to amplify the rights of persons with disability and to increase the awareness in political, socio- economic, education, health and every aspect of life, Odusanya buttressed that the over 30 million PWDs in Nigeria “are yet to have equal advantage in terms of education, health, infrastructure, employment, etc. which defeat the mantra of the Sustainable Development Goals.”