By Rita Okonkwo

Awka, April 16, 2021 (MOI) Joint National Association of Persons with Disabilities (JONAPWD) Anambra State Chapter, in conjunction with Rule of Law and Anti corruption (RoLAC) has called for full implementation of Disability Rights Law by Ministries Departments and Agencies (MDAs) and service providers.

The bill which was passed into law in 2018 by Anambra State House of Assembly and assented to by Gov. Willie Obiano made Anambra the first state in the South East to have a legislation to protect the rights of Persons with Disabilities.

The law seeks to eliminate all forms of discrimination against persons with disabilities, guarantee equal opportunities in all aspects of life in the society, and establish a Disability Rights’ Commission, and other matters.

In a one-day `Result tracking Meeting’ with Service providers and MDAs on April 15, at Choice Hotel, Awka, the State Chairman JONAPWD, Mr Ugochukwu Okeke said the law would create and sustain rights of persons with disabilities and ensure their full participation in affairs of the society.

The coordinator of RoLAC in the state, Mrs Josephine Onah said the organisation was involved to achieve an appreciable level of inclusiveness for persons with disabilities in Anambra State.

According to the coordinator, RoLAC in collaboration with the Ministry of Women Affairs organised a capacity-building workshop for all sign language interpreters in the State to cater for improved communication of the hearing and speech impaired individuals.

In addition, RoLAC, Anambra State has enhanced the publication of sign language interpreters Directory, with a list of interpreters to the public domain, so that people with such needs could be accessed.

In an address, the Anglican Bishop of Nnewi Diocese Rt. Rev. Ndubisi Obi said: “every man created by God is an image of God and should not be judged by physical attributes’’.

Rev. Obi was represented by the Diocesan Administrative Secretary, Rev. Canon Odunukwe.

The Bishop said there was Diocesan Implementation Centre already established in Nnewi to cater for children with learning impairment and physical disabilities.

“All churches in the diocese are to provide ramps at the main entrances; and include them in architectural designs of new buildings,’’ the Bishop directed.

In a presentation, the Special Adviser to the Governor on Disability Matters, Mr Chuka Ezewuzie, a lawyer, disclosed that Disability Law Centre (DLC) has been established to defend the rights of persons with disabilities.

“This is intended to help them to seek redress and obtain compensation for victims.’’

The adviser appealed to Mr Charles Nworji of the National Orientation Agency as a matter of urgency to re-orient the nation on their attitudes toward persons with disabilities. “We want to assist you in programmes that will bring about the reorientation of the society, something that can change people’s perception from seeing persons with disabilities as liabilities, to seeing them as assets, capable of contributing to the development of the state, society and the nation.’’ (MOI)

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