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Physical challenged in Nigeria demands mobility access in govt and private facilities

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Physical challenged in Nigeria demands mobility access in govt and private facilities

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The National Association of Persons with Physical Disability (NAPWPD), has called for modification and retrofitting of all public spaces and facilities in the country for improved accessibility of individuals facing mobility challenges..

The National President of NAPWPD, Rilwan Mohammed Abdullahi, made the call during a press briefing to kickstart the International Wheelchair day celebration in Kaduna on Thursday, 2024.

The association demands that Government and the society make necessary adjustments of the environmental conditions to allow for inclusion and participation of persons with disabilities in the life of the community

The association further demanded “the domestication of disability laws where non exists to safeguard the rights of wheelchair users; the development of minimum accessibility standard code for the implementation of the law regarding access to the environment.

“The modification and retrofitting of all public spaces and facilities to comply with relevant accessibility standard code and universal design; that Government make budgetary provisions for carrying out necessary modifications and retrofitting of existing buildings;

“That Government ensure adherence to building code/minimum accessibility standard and that building control departments of States do not approve new buildings that does not comply with standard,” the group stated.

Giving a background on the day, Abdullahi said the Int’l Wheelchair day, founded in 2008, was created to raise awareness about the significance of wheelchair and it’s positive impact on the lives of individuals with mobility challenges.

He averred that wheelchairs make a massive difference in a person’s ability to function. He however noted that, sadly, not everyone who needs a wheelchair is able to get one.

He said the day also aimed to celebrate, raise awareness, and advocate for improved accessibility and support for individuals who rely on wheelchairs worldwide.

According to him, the day’s primary focus is on promoting accessibility and inclusivity, highlight 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;

“The day recognizes and honours the dedicated individuals and organizations that provide vital support and care to wheelchair users; honor and acknowledge the invaluable contributions of caregivers, organizations, and communities that aid wheelchair users,” he added.

The NAPWPD’s National President, further disclosed that on Friday, March 1, 2024, the association will present a Ram to the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Kaduna State Council for its invaluable contributions to the association over the years.

Corroborating the association, the Executive Secretary (ES), Kaduna State Disability Affairs Board, Hajiya Rakiya Umar, said the board met with the Joint Persons with Disabilities and are advocating for adherence to building code and minimum accessibility standard especially on buildings in public spaces and facilities in the state.