The Jibore Foundation, an organisation for people with special needs in Kwara on Tuesday appealed to the Kwara Government to reserve 5% employment for people with disabilities.
Mrs Joy Bolarin, the Executive Director of Jibore Foundation made the call in Ilorin, while speaking during One-day sensitisation programme to mark the International Volunteer Day.
The theme of the programme is entitled: “Solidarity for People with Special Needs”.
She stated that people living with disabilities have the intellect to also contribute to the society and governance, adding that they should also be carried along just like every member of the society .
According to her, those with disabilities are constantly facing discrimination and exclusion from job opportunities despite being qualified.
“In decision making, their contribution not considered, neither are their voices heard. They don’t have access to quality and inclusive education especially in rural areas,” she said.
Bolarin explained that people with disabilities don’t need pity but support from all stakeholders to overcome challenges of exclusion they constantly experience due to their condition.
Also speaking, Dr Ahmed Rufai, the Assistant Legal Officer, National Human Rights Commission emphasised that children with special needs have the right to education, and rights to participation.
He warned parents and wards against using their children with special needs for begging on the streets, adding that this is against the law.
Rufai called on the state government to establish the creation for Disability Commission, that will be saddled with taking care of matters on people with special needs.
“Our people with disabilities are part and parcel of the society and must be treated with dignity as human beings. They should also be given opportunities to excel in life,” he said.
In her goodwill message, Mrs Harriet Oshatimehin, the Commissioner of Solid Mineral Development stated that the state government will continue to carry along those with special needs.
She emphasised that the Gov. Abdulrahaman Abdulrazaq does not discriminate against people with special needs, adding that this is evident in his appointment of one of them as Special Assistant on people with disabilities.
“You are not inferior to any able bodied person in the society. The government is working on implementing programme on disability-friendly legislation and policies to promote and protect the right of people with special needs,” she said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that sidelines of. The event includes showcasing of talents, and entrepreneurial skills of people with special needs.