Disability-Inclusion Expert, dr. Adebukola Adebayo has said that the insensitivity of local communities to disability-inclusion is the reason for the widening gaps of exclusion, discrimination, abuse and neglect of PWDs by families and communities.
Dr. Adebukola Adebayo made this known while speaking at the celebration of the International day of Persons with Disabilities by the Centre for Intellectual and Special Needs Support, (CISNS).
Dr. Adebayo who was represented at the event by Blessing Oladunjoye spoke on the Role of Community in Promotion of Inclusion and Participation of Persons with Disabilities.
Dr. adebayo noted that the insensitivity of local communities to disability-inclusion is the reason “many families still hide their children with disabilities at home; or that having a child with disability is a curse, and that children with disabilities are objects of shame”
He stressed that every PWD possesses fundamental rights just as every other person, adding that, “no one should suffer any form of exclusion, discrimination, abuse and neglect as a result of any form of disability.
“Every community has the responsibility to make all necessary social, cultural, institutional and physical/environmental adjustments to provide reasonable accommodations for PWDs resident and/or working therein.”
Dr. Adebayo thereafter urged Communities and relevant stakeholders to support the inclusion of PWDs by “ensuring that all CWDs go to school. Communities can request that the government rehabilitate schools within their domains such that they become accessible to cWDs.
“Ensuring that women and girls with disabilities are not exposed to any form of domestic and gender-based abuses. Communities should be informed that Women with Disabilities, WWDs are most vulnerable to GBV because people tend to exploit their disabilities such as lack of mental or intellectual ability, lack of sight or lack of ability to talk or hear or walk, etc.
“WWDs, due to their impairment are not able to physically protect themselves from violence or sexual abuses and often fall victims. Families and communities should therefore become conscious about these facts and pay special attention to girls and women with disabilities in their domains.
“Putting in place sensitization programs to discourage all forms of discrimination and neglect of PWDs and ensuring that PWDs participate in, and benefit from all community development programs.”
Also speaking at the event, Barr. Abolarinwa Salami who enlightened participants on the Lagos State Special Peoples Law said the law frowns against discrimination of PWDs and urge the people to end anyform of stigmatization and discrimination of PWDs.
Earlier in her opening remarks, Founder, CISNS, Mrs. Franca Anaedum, said the organization has decided to celebrate the IDPD 2020 by sensitizing community members on their responsibilities to community people.
“It is believed that at the end of our short stay here, we must have been further informed on our collective responsibilities to the wellbeing/welfare of our brothers/sisters and children living with one form of disability or another,” she added.