NCPWD, TLM Unveil Simplified Versions Of Disability Act In Nigeria Languages, Sign Language

The Albino Foundation Public Notice

The Albino Foundation Public Notice

The National Commission for Persons with Disabilities in partnership with The Leprosy Mission Nigeria has produced the simplified version of the Discrimination Against Persons with Disabilities (Prohibition) Act 2018 in Yoruba, Hausa, Igbo and Nigeria Sign Language.

The simplified versions in the four languages were unveiled in Abuja today by stakeholders.

In his address the Executive Secretary, National Commission for Persons with Disabilities, Dr. James Lalu expressed government determination to ensure full compliance with the law. He explained that the project is aimed at building capacity among persons with disabilities and empowering them to claim and defend their rights.

Dr. Lalu said “Today is a very beautiful day for us at the National Commission for Persons with Disabilities and the disability community in general.

“The National Commission for Persons with Disabilities was created as an institution of the federal government of Nigeria, tasked with the responsibility to implement and enforce the relevant provisions of the disability act.

“Accordingly, it is very important for each and every stakeholder to know about their rights and duties as citizens of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

“Necessary steps we are taking to create awareness, especially to the disability community who are the primary beneficiaries of the law, to be able to know about their rights and how they can demand for their own rights and protect their dignity as citizens of the federal Republic of Nigeria, which remains the primary objective of that law.

“We have worked together with the Leprosy Mission Nigeria in producing these various versions of the disability law today in Nigeria; the Hausa, the Yoruba and the Igbo versions. To enable our relevant stakeholders within the community level to go through it within their own cultural background to understand the relevant provision of that act and how they can be able to realise their own rights as citizens of the federal Republic of Nigeria.

“We realised that an important sector of our stakeholders, over a million of people who have hearing impairment, that is the deaf community in Nigeria, we are left out. Sign language is one of the very important languages today to help to bridge the gap in communication for the deaf community.

“The provision of this version in sign language is one of the very important areas to enable us to bring the content of this provision of the law to the deaf community. Not every deaf person can be able to read, there are a lot who only understand sign language as their primary language, so producing this into sign language is very, very important for the deaf community.

The ES spoke on the efforts and strides by the Commission in advocacy and enforcement of the disability act in Nigeria.

In similar vein, the National Coordinator, Leprosy Mission Nigeria, Dr. Sunday Udo, represented by, Pius Ogbu, Head of Operations, The Leprosy Mission Nigeria spoke on the activities of the Mission and the reasons for the project.

He said “it is with immense and profound joy that we gather here today to celebrate a monumental step towards inclusivity and equal rights in Nigeria. Today we unveil the Nigerian Simplified Disability Law in the three major Nigerian languages and the sign language law.

“This is a testament to our commitment to ensuring that every Nigerian, regardless of their abilities, has access to justice, equality and dignity.

“The Nigerian Simplified Disability Law is not just a legal document. It is a promise. A promise to our brothers and sisters with disabilities that their rights will be protected and that their voices will be heard; It is a promise that the barriers to accessibility, education, employment and public services will be dismantled.

“By translating this law into our local languages, we are making it accessible to all Nigerians. The inclusivity ensures that everyone, regardless of their literacy level or language spoken, can understand their rights and the protection afforded to them.

“This law empowers our citizens with disabilities to live with dignity and to fully participate in the life of our great nation. It challenges the stereotypes and breaks down the societal barriers that have long excluded individuals with disabilities from achieving their full potential.

“Today, we celebrate the strength and resilience of our disability community. We honor their contributions and recognize that our society is enriched by their diversity.

“As we move forward, let us remember that the true measure of our progress will be in how we implement and enforce these laws. We must remain vigilant and proactive in ensuring that the rights enshrined in this law are realized in every corner of our nation.

“Let us work together to build an inclusive Nigeria where everyone has the opportunity to thrive. “

The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Special Needs and Equal Opportunities, Mohammed Abba Isa, represented by Director, Media, Lanre Oloyede spoke on President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s passion, dedication and commitment to supporting every initiative and intervention that promotes inclusion and participation of persons with disability and special needs in all spheres of life, which is the core objective of our Green Hope Agenda.

He said “President Bola Tinubu believes that nobody should be left behind in the scheme of things, regardless of their abilities or language.

“{Today, we celebrate the media launch and presentation of the translated simplified versions of the Discrimination Against Persons with Disabilities Prohibition Act 2018, a crucial step in enhancing awareness and understanding of this landmark legislation within our rural communities.

“The Discrimination Against Persons with Disabilities Prohibition Act 2018 stands as a testament to our nation’s dedication to upholding the rights and dignity of all its citizens, regardless of their physical or mental abilities.

“For this act to truly serve its purpose, it must be accessible and understood by all. Knowledge is empowerment, and by translating and simplifying the disability act, we are breaking down barriers and ensuring that everyone, regardless of their language or sense-free limitation, can understand and assess their rights.

“Our rural communities, often the bedrock of our cultural heritage and social fabric, sometimes face challenges in assessing information due to linguistic and educational barriers. This initiative addresses these challenges head-on.

The consultant of the project, and Publisher of Qualitative Magazine, Comrade Chris Agbo, explain the rationale behind the project. He expressed appreciation to all stakeholders that contribute to the success of the translation and unveiling. He spoke further on the need to produce more materials in the nation’s local languages to improve accessibility and empower persons with disabilities.

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