Abuja- Hajia Zainab Maina the Minister of Women Affairs and Social Development, has called on Persons with Disabilities (PWD) in Nigeria to harness the power of technology to achieve equal participation in the society.
She made the call on Wednesday in Abuja at an event to commemorate the 2014 International Day of Persons with Disabilities with the theme, `Sustainable Development: The Promise of Technology.’
The minister, represented by Mr Ezekiel Oyemomi the Permanent Secretary in the ministry, said the theme was selected to create awareness and sensitise PWD on how technology could positively impact on their lives.
“The industrial revolution ushered in a new age of technology that raised the standard of living around the world and access to good services.
“Today, technology is built into every facet of daily living.
“The emergence of information and communication technology has dramatically increased connectivity and access to information,’’ she said.
Maina noted that inadequate focus on disability issues and its attendant consequences had remained a major challenge that threatens human attainment of meaningful development.
She said the objective of the year’s International day of PWD was to showcase and celebrate their contributions as agents of change and development
The Director of Basic and Secondary Education, Federal Ministry of Education, Mr Daniel Uwaezuoke, stressed the need to include issues of disabilities in policy formulation.
Uwaezuoke was represented by Mrs Lorretta Ogbobilea the Director, Special Needs Education.
He said, “the International day of PWD provide an opportunity for government, organisations of PWD, Civil Societies, NGO’s and other stakeholders to focus on the freedom and potentials of PWD.’’
He said the ministry had formulated national policy on special needs education and guidelines for its implementation.
In her remark, Mrs Sina Chuma-Mkandawire Country Director, International Labour Organisation (ILO), urged government, manufacturers of technology and PWD to strategise for symbiotic partnership that would be beneficial to all.
“Technology and accessibility of its benefits is a critical element to recognizing the right of persons with disabilities and ensuring they are included in development.
“it is very essential to use technology to promote inclusion of disabled students in all levels of education,’’ Chuma-Mkandawire represented by Mrs Runo Onosode said
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Dec. 3 of each year is commemorated as International Day of Persons with Disabilities. (NAN)