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Stakeholders simplify disability act into indigenous languages

Stakeholders simplify disability act into indigenous languages
November 29
13:45 2023

The Leprosy Mission Nigeria (TLMN) and the National Commission for Persons with Disabilities (NCPWD) jointly unveiled the simplified and translated version of the 2018 Disability Act in Abuja.

The act, originally written in English, has now been made accessible in three major Nigerian languages of Yoruba, Igbo and Hausa.

During the unveiling ceremony, Sunday Udoh, national director of TLMN, stated the purpose of breaking down language barriers to make important information available to all.

“Language should not be a barrier to knowledge and that is why the act was simplified into three major languages to give everybody the sense of belonging,” Udoh said.

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“This significant accomplishment reflects our dedication to making information accessible to all individuals, including those with disabilities. Access to information is critical. It is a right.”

Chris Agbo, publisher of Qualitative Magazine, thanked the stakeholders for giving him the opportunity to contribute meaningfully to disability matters.

He said that it is important to reach rural areas where many PWDs may not be aware of the act’s provisions.

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He said that other versions of the disability law should be looked into.

Mohammed Isa, the senior special assistant (SSA) to President Bola Tinubu on special needs and equal opportunity, acknowledged the need for widespread awareness and emphasised the president’s commitment to disability matters.

He called for joint efforts to achieve about 80 percent awareness for Persons With Disabilities (PWDs) because they do not have access to adequate information.

Lanre-Issa Onilu, the director-general of the National Orientation Agency (NOA), spoke about ongoing efforts since the act was signed.

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The efforts include public enlightenment and collaborations with civil society organisations (CSOs).

He was represented by Margaret Yenami, assistant director, documentation, translation and publication in the agency.

James Lalu, the executive secretary of NCPWD, announced plans to launch a bilateral relationship with NOA for orientation about disability rights in rural communities.

Bashir Dawodu, chairman, house of representatives committee on disability, said that Tajudeen Abbas, speaker of the house of representatives, recently approved the use of sign language during plenary.

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Dawodu expressed his committee’s commitment to promote the rights of PWDs in Nigeria.

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