Stakeholders task Gombe Govt on disability consideration in infrastructure programmes

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Some stakeholdets in Gombe, have urged the state government to ensure disability consideration in infrastructure programmes towards improving the wellbeing of Persons Living with Disabilities (PLWDs).

A cross section made the call in separate interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Friday in Gombe, to mark the 2021 International Day of Persons with Disabilities.

NAN reports that the United General Assembly in its 1992 Resolution 47/3, proclaimed Dec. 3, every year to commemorate the International Day of Persons with Disabilities.

The Day is also set aside to highlight how PLWDs suffer due to unequal opportunities, discrimination, lack of empathy and the need to ensure inclusiveness of PLWDs by supporting them to have a life of dignity.

The theme for this year is, “Leadership and Participation of PLWDs toward an Inclusive, Accessible and Sustainable Post-COVID-19 World.”

Mr Morgan Abna, a sign language interpreter, said that the measure would ease the difficulties being experienced by persons with disabilities in accessing public and private facilities.

Abna said that lack of provisions for PLWDs in schools, hospitals, markets and other public areas, adding that the trend made them feel excluded.

He said that persons with disabilities should be accorded premium in the provision of infrastructure in schools and other social services to enable them to benefit from the facilities.

“PLWDs are part of the society and needed to be treated like every other citizens.

“They should have their place in the society; this is a task for all of us.

“A deaf needs an interpreter in hospital, markets and other public places, they need interpreters to help them communicate and this is good for carrying them along.

“If you go to hospitals, ministries, there is no provision for PLWDs. The upstairs are not convenient and the PLWDs find it difficult to climb staircase.

“But if there are provisions for PLWDs, it will make public facilities accessible and easy for them because they are part of us. They need to be given access to public facilities,’’ he said.

According to him, proactive measures are necessary to enhance care and support services to PLWDs as well as give them voice in the society.

He urged the public to give PLWDs a friendly atmosphere for them to contribute to national development.

Abna said the PLWDs union in the state had embarked community sensitisation activities to create awareness on the need for the society to support PLWDs.

Earlier, Mr Yusuf Yahaya, a 26-year-old deaf graduate of Political Science, Gombe State University, said inclusiveness of PLWDs in public service provision was key towards protection of the rights of persons with disabilities.

Yahaya who described his school years as challeging due to lack of sign language interpreter, said that PLWDs needed all sort of support to enable them contribute to the sustainable development in the country.

He urged the state government to expedite action towards passing the Disability Right Bill.

The law, he said, would compel all tertiary institutions to provide interpreters for deaf students in the state.

He further called for the creation of an agency for persons with disabilities to protect their rights and welfare as well as establishment of special educatio school to ensure all-inclusive access to education.