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Strengthen LASODA to monitor disability law compliance, group tasks Lagos


A non-governmental organisation, Centre for Citizens with Disabilities (CCD) has called for the strengthening of Lagos State Office of Disability Affairs (LASODA) for the monitoring of compliance with the provisions of the law, to ensure the protection of the rights of People with Disabilities (PWDs) in the state. 
The body also urged the Lagos state government to make disability funds accessible to LASODA to enhance their operations and smoothen responses to the emergency needs of PWDs.

At the Lagos disability law summit with the theme “Our Lagos, Our Disability Report 2020, An Assessment of Compliance to Lagos Disability Law by Public and Private Institutions in Lagos State”, the Executive Director of CCD, David Anyaele, noted that the report evaluated the extent of compliance with the law by both public and private institutions and to identify the challenges of enforcing the law and measures to address them. 
The researchers noted that many MDAs are yet to have their own stand-alone policy documents addressing the needs of PWDs. 
According to the report, many public and private institutions in Lagos are still poorly equipped to cater for PWDs. Other challenges identified in the study include poor access to public spaces and transport services, inequality, lack of free healthcare, poor welfare, discrimination, stigmatisation and unemployment.


Ministry of health is incapacitated in providing free healthcare services to PWDs due to lack of funding and specific policy guidelines, while the ministry of education, among others, was applauded for its achievements in implementing the law. 
Anyaele noted that the major issues with regards to addressing the challenges of PWDs are not the absence of laws, but the enforcement and implementation of those laws. 
He added that other recommendations of the report includes the collaboration of the Ministry of Health and LASODA with a view to providing operational guidelines for the implementation of section 32(2) of the LSSPL-PWDs right to free medical care.

“The Ministry of Education in collaboration with LASODA should give guidelines for the operations of section 33(1) – PWDs right to education, especially as it affects the deaf and blind during examinations,” he said.
In line with the challenges faced by PWDs, the General Manager of LASODA, Jamiu Ogundairo, said efforts to provide solutions that are enterprise driven are considered as charity is not sustainable.
He noted the need to form a greater synergy with other MDAs and for more private sector parley.
“To achieve these, LASODA embarks on proactive engagement with cluster heads. Technology and innovation are also emphasised as technology makes life more possible for PWDs and strategic communication in engaging the society,” he said.
He added that silos mindset, Coronavirus pandemic, funding, red tapeism are potential roadblocks to the organisation.  
Ogundairo however noted that in navigating roadblocks, staff training and motivation, development of technical content and resources, conventional and social media campaign, creative ways to enforce the LSSPL and ensure compliance with the law and standardisation of criteria.


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