Disability commission proposes accessibility engineering programme in varsities.


John Akubo, Abuja

The Executive Secretary of the Federal Commission for Persons With Disabilities (FCPWD), James Lalu, has disclosed a plan by the commission to push for the commencement of an academic programme in accessibility engineering to produce technical specialists in the area of accessibility for Persons Living With Disabilities (PLWD).

This, he said, would move the country towards a disability-inclusive and overcoming difficulty in accessing public facilities like schools, train stations, airports and the neglect of persons with disabilities.

Lalu, who spoke at a press conference in the commission’s office, Plateau House, Abuja, at the weekend, said: “We want to see how we can produce technical experts who will be consultants in their own rights to promote accessibility in the physical environment for persons with disability in Nigeria.”

He said the commission would be totally committed to improving the quality of lives of persons with disability, hence it is working in different areas to see what it can do to achieve the objective.

He said the commission was at the Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, for the commissioning of the centre for research and development in the area of disability.

“When you look at Section 68 of the Discrimination Against the People Living With Disabilities Prohibition Act, it made provision for employment of five per cent of persons with disabilities in the public sector.”

“In this case, we are working with the Federal Character Commission, Federal Civil Service Commission, office of the Head of Service of the Federation, office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation and other stakeholders to bring heads together for the realisation of employment opportunities for persons with disabilities.

“Our advocacy will soon move to the six geo-political zones to meet with chief executive officers of the Federal Government institutions and parastatals.

“Complying with this act will be the best to start with the Federal Government institutions so that employment opportunities will be opened for persons with disabilities.

“This is another area that we commend President Muhammadu Buhari for the maximum support,” he said.