Wheelchair Day: PWDs advocate domestication of disability laws

THE National Association Of Persons With Physical Disabilities (NAPWPD), FCT chapter, has demanded for full domestication of disability laws and accessibility standard codes in Nigeria.

The chairman of NAPWPD, Chris Agbo, made the appeal during a media conference held in Abuja on Friday, March 1, to mark the occasion.

Agbo, while highlighting the significance of International Wheelchair Day, emphasised its importance to millions of people globally, as wheelchairs greatly support people who need them to function effectively in society.

He noted that wheelchairs would make a significant difference in people’s ability to function but stressed that not everyone who needed one could obtain it.

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Agbo noted that thousands of people in Nigeria needed wheelchairs.

“The primary focus of the day is on promoting accessibility and inclusivity, highlighting the importance of making the world a more accessible place for all. The day serves as a platform to celebrate the remarkable contributions of wheelchairs in empowering individuals and improving their quality of life.

“It also acknowledges the pressing global need for wheelchairs, with millions of people worldwide requiring them but facing barriers to acquisition.

“We want the full domestication of disability laws where it does not exist; this will go a long way to safeguard the rights of wheelchair users. Also, we want the development of minimum accessibility standard code for the implementation of the law regarding access to the environment,” Agbo said.

Agbo also said it would help if all public places and buildings were remodelled to follow accessibility rules and universal design for PWDs.

While also stating that the government should set aside money for making these changes to existing buildings, he said the government should ensure adherence to building code/minimum accessibility standards for PWDs.



    He stated that it’s important that state building control departments don’t approve buildings that don’t meet the universal standard. 

    “Government and indeed the society should make necessary adjustments of the environmental conditions to allow for inclusion and participation of persons with disabilities in the community,” he added.

    The call to action came as some states’ associations of persons with disabilities urged their state governments to adopt and implement disability laws to address the numerous challenges they face.

    They voiced their concerns about the authorities’ failure to find solutions to the challenges faced by the disability community over the years in Nigeria.

    Usman Mustapha is a solution journalist with International Centre for Investigative Reporting. You can easily reach him via: [email protected]. He tweets @UsmanMustapha_M

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