The Lionheart Ability Leaders International Foundation, LALIF led by the Executive Director, Mr Solomon Okelola, has paid a courtesy visit to Members of the Executive Council of the Lagos State Association of the Deaf with a view to enhance and promote the rights of persons with deaf-blindness.
The courtesy visit is a way of collaborating to address the challenges that persons with deaf-blindness experience, part of which they are often left out of day-to-day and association activities by peers and family members.
Mr Okelola while speaking during the courtesy visit mentioned that the few persons with deaf-blindness who are in school for the blind or the deaf are not fully provided for as the schools can only provide for a specific need related to vision or hearing loss but cannot accommodate the dual concurrent disability in the teaching-learning process.
“Most persons with deaf-blindness cannot benefit from curricular and extracurricular activities in the schools for the blind or the deaf.
“In the light of this, it is very important to identify these individuals so as to be able to assess the level of their dual impairment and needs with a view to empowering people in their environment with knowledge and skills that can enhance ample provision for these needs,” he added.
Okelola also noted that identification of these persons would enhance proper educational placement after a comprehensive assessment of their dual impairment, present levels of functioning, academic and other needs.
“Likewise, coming together in a body will help these individuals and their family members to struggle for their recognition as citizens and demand access to their human rights, which is the reason for my intention to register the Nigerian Association of Persons with Deaf-blindness.”
He pointed out that such an association exist in several nations under the auspices of the World Federation of Deaf-blindness and the African Federation of Deaf-blindness.
Mr Okelola told the other executives that LALIF is fully ready to work with the association to identify and ensure the general welfare of persons with deaf-blindness and said he hoped the association would work with us in the quest as well.
The LALIF boss introduced the organization’s project tagged “Operation Stop Usher Syndrome: Building a Future for the Deaf-blind In Nigeria”, and enlightened them about Usher Syndrome as the major cause of deaf-blindness.
Responding, one of the executives of the Lagos State Association of the Deaf, Mr Godwin Nwachukwu noted that the association is ready to work with LALIF, to ensure that persons with deaf-blindness live meaningfully in the society.