By Precious Oham

The Joint National Association of Persons With Disabilities, JONAPWD, Ekiti State Chapter, has called on Governor Biodun Oyebanji of Ekiti State to include PWDs in all social investment, social protection and various economic empowerment programs of the government.

They stated this at a Press Conference in Ado-Ekiti, commemorating the 2022 International Disability Day with the theme: “Transformative Solutions for Inclusive Development: The Role of Innovation in Fuelling an Accessible and Equitable World.”

Chairman of JONAPWD in Ekiti State, Owolabi Kayode, said PWDs in the state have not been exempted from some of the challenges militating against PWDs ranging from extremely limited inclusion in political participation, employment opportunities, accessible and affordable health care services among others.

They also urged the governor to appoint a PWD to the rank of a Permanent Secretary or Executive Secretary, setting up of Disability Desk in all Ministries, Departments and Agencies, Disbursement of monthly subvention to JONAPWD etc.

His words: “Inclusion of persons with disabilities in all social investment programs, social protection programs and various economic empowerment programs of the government especially for women and youth with disabilities.

“Appointment of qualified persons with disabilities into political positions especially in the rank of cabinet members in order to give voice to persons with disabilities on the decision-making table.

“Renovation of the three Special Schools in Ekiti state with recruitment/deployment of competent special education staff into the schools coupled with an improved welfare package for the students. Prompt payment/disbursement of Bursaries and scholarships to persons with disabilities in the state.

“Ensure accessibility of all public facilities and services in the state through the construction of ramps, handrails, lifts/elevators, accessibility signs, Disability parking spaces, sign language interpreter at EKTV, Sign Language Interpreters at various Health facilities and state functions, state government publications and documents to be produced in braille etc.”