Experts have continued to champion the welfare and activities of People with Disabilities during the Pandemic in order to promote improved standard of living and longevity.
The United Nations General Secretary, Añtonio Guterres in a message presented by the United Nations Information Center, Nigeria, Mr Ronald Kayanja emphasised that COVID-19 pandemic has affected communities and societies at their very core, deepening pre-existing inequalities.
Guiterres pointed out that the persons with Disabilities when under normal circumstances, the one billion persons living with disabilities worldwide are less likely to enjoy access to education, healthcare and livelihoods or to participate and be included in the community.
He said:” They are more likely to live in poverty and experience higher rates of violence, neglect and abuse and when crises such as COVID-19 grip communities, persons with disabilities are among the worst affected.”
“These rights touch on every aspect of life: the right to go to school, to live in one’s community, to access health care, to start a family, to engage in political participation, to be able to play sport, to travel — and to have decent work. “
“As the world recovers from the pandemic, we must ensure that the aspirations and rights of persons with disabilities are included and accounted for in a -inclusive, accessible and sustainable post COVID-19 world. “
Accompanying the crisis has been a spike in domestic violence reporting,
at exactly the time that services, including rule of law, health and shelters, are being diverted to address the pandemic,” stated the UN Secretary-General’s report, “
Also speaking at the zoom meeting Ms Treasures Uchegbu,Convener Speaking fingers Network made the call at the during the celebration of International Day of Persons with Disabilities (IDPD) with the theme “Building Back Better: Toward a Disability-Inclusive, Accessible and Sustainable Post-COVID-19 World” .
Uchegbu told 360 Network News that when the mind is liberated through education, the blind will see and the deaf will hear” with Sign Language,every one is included,Mental Health is Mental Wealth and Leave no one behind.
She added the event highlighted on Sustainable Development Goals 4 and 5 respectively, in promotion of the 16 day activism to eliminate gender based violence with focus on social Norms that supports the vulnerables.
Adeola Obagun, Executive Member Federal Nigerian Society of the Blind , appealed to goverments to ensure that organizations give 5% employment slots to people living with disabilities according to the Disability Act.
“Promoting inclusion for persons with disabilities means recognizing and protecting their rights-” she added.
She added that 2020 has been an eventful and challenging one owing to the global pandemic, civil unrest and insecurities, persons with disabilities have been immensely affected by prevailing ignorance, inaccessible and almost non-existent in areas of health,educational or legal response.
Another Speaker, Dr. Ubong King, Board Chairman, Save Our Women And Girls Foundation emphasized that “there is a need for Positive Masculinity towards ending Gender Based Violence to women and girls with disabilities; early access to inclusive education and lifelong learning opportunities. He added there should be availabllity and accessibility to government policy, legal aids/palliative for persons with disabilities .” King urged men and boys to treat the girl -children and women with care respect and protection, because they are nation builders and carry the generations unborn.
The Founder/CEO Hope Fountain school for deaf, Mr Nwachukwu appreciated the experts and organisations for their regular support to school community.
The Students also did a rendition of the Nigerian National Anthem in Sign Language version and drama which was transmitting live with sign language interpretation, voice and text captioning.