Experts have advocated for people with disabilities to have a chance in life, especially when it comes to employment, adding that they (people with disabilities) deserve it just like any other person in society.
This was announced at a professional awareness conference for special needs hosted virtually by the KTC-KYC Educational Consult & Academy on Saturday.
The conference on the theme “Path to entrepreneurship in disability management: what can we do better? and moderated by KTC-KYC ECA Director, Ms. Damilola Oyalaja, had disability inclusion experts as panelists who spoke about different factors affecting the employability of people with disabilities.
Talking about the limitations faced by people with disabilities, an artist/disability advocate, Ms. Joy Odiete, I’odie for short, said that the root of the limitations of people with disabilities is education.
J’odie said that the employability of people with disabilities depends on their level of education, asking: “If they are not educated, how will they be employable? »
She commended the organizers of the virtual conference, saying more was needed to regularly bring together experts and stakeholders to discuss issues affecting persons with disabilities. She said such conferences would provide an opportunity for “people in the disability care circle” to address the foundation of their limitations, which she said was education.
J’odie said many parents of people with disabilities were overwhelmed with the condition of their children with special needs rather than exposing them to the right kind of education that would make them employable, adding that such a provision would always result in more adults living with a disability. who are unemployable.
She further added that it was important for experts and stakeholders to “find more artistic ways” to get the message out to society to inspire more people to get involved with people with disabilities.
Another panelist, Ms. Susan Ihuoma, an educator and disability inclusion advocate, said that the main challenge faced by people with disabilities was that disability issues were charitable.
Ihuoma said that to help people with disabilities have a chance in life, society must stop viewing them as “objects of pity” and instead provide them with the information and opportunities they need to thrive.
She also identified the structural barrier as a challenge to the good life for people with disabilities.
Ihuoma said that many organizations where people with disabilities could have worked and prospered did not have structures providing accessibility for people with disabilities in their establishments.
She added that employers do not consider people with disabilities in their recruitment processes.
She said: “We’re not saying (they should) create a different space for people with disabilities…we’re saying mainstream disability into existing structures. This has always been our entry point.
The Executive Director of Theseabilities Foundation, Mr. Adetoye Abioye, said that people with disabilities were considered sub-human in Nigerian society and that was what reflected in the way they were treated in the workspace.
Abioye, while condemning society’s perception of people with disabilities, said everyone was “one accident away from having a disability”, adding that everyone was a candidate to become a disabled person.
“Because you are wearing glasses or using an aid, you are on your way to becoming a disabled person,” Abioye added.
He said the way society treats people with disabilities would be different if everyone looked at the issue of disability from that perspective.
Citing an example of passing a disability exam in a university location where they had to be helped by others to an upper floor which they could not access, and without a ramp for easy access, Abioye said that this would have been a good opportunity for people with disabilities and their advocates to advocate for the change needed, adding that many people advocate inclusion but never follow through when faced with real-life situations.
Abioye said the situation at the institution changed within a week after one of the SNVO conference panelists raised the matter with the university authorities, adding that “the company is not mean as one might think, it’s just very ignorant.”
He further said that the election season in Nigeria is an opportunity for people with disabilities and their advocates to engage politicians on how to be included in their policies.
Abioye instructed people with disabilities to seek mutual aid by standing up for themselves and becoming their own advocates demanding a better life from society, adding that “mutual aid is the best help.”
He added that members of society should be educated for an easy life accessible to people with disabilities and in doing so they should be informed that they are not doing people with disabilities any favors as everyone is just one. accident – or even an age – away from disability.