Paper presented by Julius Shemang; he lost his hearing at the age of 16,read Special education but later took up advocacy issues of the rights of the Deaf and other Nigerians with disabilities; he is teacher, writer, publisher and rights activist; he was the first deaf person in Northern Nigeria to establish a newspaper that is fully registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) and which serve not only the interest of the disabled but also other Nigerians suffering from one form of discrimination or the other. He is the first deaf person to be elected Chairman, Joint National Association of Persons With Disabilities (JONAPWD) Kaduna State Chapter; A member, Board of Directors of the Kaduna State Rehabilitation Management Board; Executive Interim Secretary of the African Deaf Initiative (ADI) Headquarter in Kitwe, Zambia.
In speaking on the “Social inclusion of people living with disabilities” it is important to first understand the challenges that people living with disabilities face in their everyday life in the society because knowing where they are coming from (their pains) will lead to better interventions for them as far as this summit theme “Enabling access and participation: Linking women to resources” is concerned.
- Public opinions/attitudes to disability
- Family rejection
- Stigmatization/Discrimination by the society
- Begging culture among people living with disabilities
- Lack of access to information/communication, buildings, hospitals, schools, soft loans, banks, etc
- Lack of law and effective policy frameworks
- Lack of data on PWDs
- Domestic/Gender based violence
THE WAY FORWARD:
- Love and acceptance from home
- Support and patronize goods/products made by people with disabilities
- GESI policy framework
- Proposed census on pwds
- Inclusion of PWDs especially women in policy and decision making processes
- Gender And Business (GAB) dialogue platform is a step in the right direction
- PWDs accessibility to Small Micro Credits (SMC) and other capital resources is need in order to boost their businesses
- There should be special desks or units set aside for PWDs in all banks especially those concerned with micro credits facilities for easy access
- The proposed Disability Special Trust Funds (DSTF)
- Immediate passage of the Kaduna State Disability Rights Bill will address the economic challenges and overall interests of people living with disabilities in the state.
I commend the efforts of Kaduna State Government for given birth to this summit and I appreciate the opportunity given to people living with disabilities to be part of the initiative. This will go along way to fulfill the saying “Nothing about us and for us without us”.
Thank you for given me the opportunity to make this presentation.
By Julius Shemang,
Chairman, JONAPWD Kaduna State.