Ability In Disability

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Last Tuesday, the Adeyemi Bero Auditorium, Lagos State Government Secretariat played  host to a display of musical talents by physically challenged people, during which  they sang and drummed.

The event was the celebration of the International Day of Persons with Disabilities.  The auditorium was filled to capacity with disabled people. They were not sad; they  rejoiced greatly and thrilled the audience with their performance.

A musical rendition from a band of disabled people supplied the music for the day.   Three blind men entertained the audience with their super rendition while a solo was  rendered by a disabled man on a wheelchair. It is certain that from the high level  of performance displayed by them, many able bodied people cannot match their prowess  in music.

Special Adviser to the Governor on Youth and Social Development, Dr. Dolapo Badru  stated that the theme for the celebration, Keeping the Promise: Mainstreaming  Disability in the Millennium Development Goals Towards 2015 and Beyond, was timely  as it provided the best available framework for fulfilling the promise by world  leaders at the summit in 2000, to spare no effort to free the people from abject  poverty and dehumanizing conditions.

“The Millennium Development Goals foster collaborative action to reduce poverty,  improve health and address education and environmental concerns around the world’s  most pressing development problems,” he noted.

According to him, the government would continue to respond to the yearning of the  people and would not relent in its efforts to provide the basic necessities that  would make life worth living.

The Special Adviser recalled the effort of the state government in rescuing and  reuniting beggars from the state with their family members, saying that there was  need to urgently act to mainstream disability in the MDG process.

“This concerns policy makers and technical experts specifically tasked with  programming, monitoring and evaluation of current MDGs. Their task will not be  considered successful if their policies, programmes, monitoring and evaluation do  not include persons with disabilities.”

Chairman, Joint National Association of Persons with Disabilities, Lagos State  chapter, Mr. Okikiade Adeyemi, wanted governments in the 36 states of the federation  to create an enabling environment for disabled people to develop their potential.

According to him, government should create avenue for news and current affairs to be  interpreted in the American Sign Language and Braille for the benefit of persons  with disability, adding that it has been a psychological torture for persons with  disabilities to watch or try to listen to news.

Adeyemi stated that sign language would go a long way to assist those who have  hearing impairment while Braille would assist those who are visually impaired.

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