Int’l Day of Persons with Disabilities: DTAN sends SOS to FG

Posted by News Express | 4 December 2018 | 940 times

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As the world commemorates the International Day of Persons with Disabilities (PWDs), the Deaf Teachers Association (DTAN), has called on the Federal Government to pay closer attention to the plight of the physically challenged in Nigeria.

DTAN joined other groups and Civil Society Organizations, policy makers and the general public to observe the Day which is promoted and celebrated by the United Nations since 1992.

A statement issued on Monday, signed by DTAN National Secretary General, Omopariola Bolarinwa Anthony, said: “As this event is commemorated today across the globe, December 3, 2018, our heart goes out to over 25 million persons with various forms of disabilities both young and old living in Nigeria. We specifically note the recent dimension that discrimination against persons with disabilities (prohibition) Bill 2018 had taken in recent times.

“The Bill is supposed to have been transmitted and signed into law before now but the reverse is the case. We are still earnestly appealing to members of the National Assembly and the president to put smile on our faces by transmitting and signing this bill into law.

“On education, DTAN is appealing for the allocation and disbursement of funds to lift deaf education from its present moribund and dilapidated state to a state of quality and excellence. For instance, in some deaf schools across the land, classrooms for the deaf are a gory sight to behold aside from inadequate interpreters, qualified deaf teachers and useful instructional resources for teaching. As the saying goes, ‘it’s only when the mind is liberated through education that the deaf will hear like every other man’.

“We are also using this medium to advocate for the employment of professional and qualified sign language interpreters to interpret in hospitals, television stations and in government departments. This becomes valuable when one considers the rate at which deaf people die in hospitals due to communication break down between deaf patients and physicians and the inability of the deaf to participate in making contributions to national development due to lack of information to aid their understanding. Since deaf men and women rely on only sign words to hear, we plead with all tiers of government to employ sign language interpreters to be positioned  in every strategic places where needed.”

Continuing, the statement said: “As the world commemorates the International Day of Persons with Disabilities today, DTAN joins the disabled community in Nigeria and around the world to celebrate this day. We are, however, optimistic that a brighter tomorrow beckons as long as the right things are done.

“We wish to congratulate every disabled person in Nigeria, NGOs and every stakeholder in the land and around the world on this historic occasion.

This year’s edition has as its theme, ‘Empowering Persons with Disabilities and Ensuring Inclusiveness and Equality’.

The theme, the association noted, focuses on empowering persons with disabilities for the inclusive, equitable and sustainable development in the 2030 agenda for sustainable development.

This year’s edition will be commemorated at the United Nations Headquarters in New York with a report which will be presented by the Secretary General of the United Nations on provision for evidence base for disability inclusive policy making, implementation and monitoring and evaluation of an inclusive, accessible and sustainable global development agenda.

“This event will also bring together members states including Nigeria, UN entities, Civil Society Organizations, national and local policy makers, academic institutes and organisations of persons with disabilities to discuss the way forward for inclusive, equitable development in conjunction with the launching of UN flagship report on disability and development to be issued as part of the commemoration of the day,” the statement affirmed.

It noted that “DTAN is a registered umbrella professional body of all deaf teachers in Nigeria,” adding: “The goal of DTAN is to advance and promote quality and excellence in deaf education.”

Source: News Express

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