People with disabilities lament unfriendly work environment
Poor considerations for the physically challenged people in the operations of commercial businesses and public places have been identified as a major barrier to productivity and performances of people living with disabilities in the country.
The special people who spoke at a stakeholders meeting organized by the Lagos State Government, lamented the inconsiderate attitude of some Nigerians, particularly business organizations and governments agencies who are restricting their movements with new technologies and harsh environmental policies.
A Guest Speaker at the forum, Titilayomi Phoebe Sumbola, said banking operations and hospitals are not friendly to people living with disabilities.
She said: “How can I have a money in a bank and I will not have access to the entrance of the bank. Are we not customers of the bank? The same happens to our hospitals and many public places. We have to beg people to do everything. I must tell you we are not happy about this.”
She insisted that the first task of every employee is to get to his or her work place as quickly, early, safely and at the lowest possible cost and that it is also his or her desire to easily gain access into the premises or building housing his or her office.
“As persons living with disabilities, our experience completely differs from those of our non disable colleagues. Not only do we encounter serious difficulties in accessing transportation to our places of work, we are also confronted with the challenges of accessing our office premises and buildings before getting down to work everyday,” she said.
Sumbola also lamented that many public buildings especially those with three or four stories lack elevators, and this is making it difficult for employees with disabilities whose offices are within such building to easily access them.
In most rural areas, she said persons living with disabilities are largely immobile due to bad roads, open drainages and poorly built houses.
The Special Adviser on Civic Engagement to Lagos State Governor, Kehinde Olaide Joseph, said the MDA’s should review their policies and layouts to make life more comfortable by provision of facilities at the offices and homes for the physically challenged public officers.
According to him, nations in the 21-century are maximizing the ability of her people irrespective of limitations either physically of mentally.