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Show love to people living with disabilities – Mrs Ambode

Chairman of COWLSO, Mrs Bolanle Ambode
Mrs Bolanle Ambode

The First Lady of Lagos State, Mrs. Bolanle Ambode has called on members of the public to always show love and affection to people living with disabilities as they need peoples’ love, affection and empathy.

Mrs. Ambode, opined this at an event organized by the Lagos State Office for Disability Affairs to mark the International Day for Persons Living with Disabilities in the State.

She said that, people living with disabilities are part of the society, as such members of the public should believe in their abilities to progress and contribute meaningfully to the growth of the society.

“It is essential that we reassure people living with disabilities that they are part of the society and to believe in their abilities to progress and contribute meaningfully to the society. They must never feel rejected or dejected but rather should always see themselves as a set of unique and endowed people”, she noted.

The First Lady, who was represented by the Wife of the State Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mrs. Temitope Ayorinde, averred that this year’s celebration is aimed at promoting public awareness and mobilizing support on critical issues that are related to the inclusion of persons living with disabilities towards the development of the society.

She added that, parents of children with disabilities should not hide them at home but rather should enroll them at various Special Schools and inclusive units in the State.

She also noted that, the estimated One billion persons living with disabilities worldwide face many barriers which prevent them from enjoying access to society on the same footing with able bodied persons.

She stressed that, these barriers are most pronounced in the area of employment, transportation, education, social and political engagements among others.

She also opined that, the right to equitable participation in public life is essential to stable democracy, active citizenship and reduction in inequalities within the society, hence person living with disabilities must be able to fulfill their roles in society and participate on an equal basis with all and sundry.

According to her, it is only through early intervention that effective management of their conditions can benefit them and the society.

While commending Teachers in the Special Schools and inclusive units for their efforts in caring for the children, Ambode urged them to remain focused and continue to bring out the best in their pupil/students despite their challenges.

“I thank all our teachers in the special schools and inclusive units for their efforts at giving care to this special people, I acknowledge that it is indeed a great calling to take up this duty that many would probably have turned down. It is only God that can reward you accordingly”, she enunciated.

The Deputy Governor of the State, Dr. (Mrs.) Idiat Adebule Oluranti, in her welcome address stated that, the State Government is determined to make life more meaningful for people with special needs in the State through the promotion of freedom of expression; universal access to information and knowledge; the use of ICT in Inclusive Units and Special Schools; respect for cultural diversity and equal education for all.

According to her, the State Government’s conviction is that there is always ability in disability which underscores its policy of employing qualified special persons in the civil service.

She stressed that, government created vocational centers in all the Special Schools that are fully equipped with needed instructional materials and care-givers to help prepare them in vocations towards economic independence.

“The State Government presently has five specials schools, thirty-one inclusive education units at primary education level and eleven inclusive secondary schools to provide education and vocation skills for pupils/students who are challenged. Government has also been proactive in the area of special persons through the involvement of children and adult with disabilities in development, addressing gender problems in the disability issues, creating enabling environment by removing barriers towards all inclusive society for persons with disabilities”, the Deputy Governor affirmed.

She therefore urged well meaning people whom God has blessed to reach out to the special needs persons in various schools and units as well as join hands with the government to make life more comfortable and meaningful for the special children and adults as they deserve quality living standard and equal educational opportunities.

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