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Coalition holds town hall on International Day of Persons with Disabilities

By Guardian Nigeria
04 December 2021   |   4:50 pm
The Disability and Covid Second Global Town Hall Meeting in Commemoration of the International Day of Persons with Disabilities took place on the 3rd of December 2021. The programme was organised by Special Needs Initiative For Growth in Partnership with Disability Support International. The theme for 2021 is "Leadership and participation of persons with disabilities…

The Disability and Covid Second Global Town Hall Meeting in Commemoration of the International Day of Persons with Disabilities took place on the 3rd of December 2021.

The programme was organised by Special Needs Initiative For Growth in Partnership with Disability Support International.

The theme for 2021 is “Leadership and participation of persons with disabilities toward an inclusive, accessible and sustainable post-COVID-19 world.”

This year’s theme emphasizes relevant investments and socioeconomic development which will reduce the barrier encountered by people with disabilities globally.

The global event was well attended by individuals, government and policy stakeholders. Representatives from multilateral organizations and civil society organizations such as the Head of Cooperation of the European Union Delegation to Nigeria and ECOWAS in the person of Ms Cécile TASSIN-PELZER, the Senior Social Welfare Officer – African Union Commission in the person of Mr. Lefhoko Kesamang, Mr. Ezenwa Eleazar Okoro – the Chairman Board of Trustees for the Special Needs Initiative For Growth and Mark Fournier who is the President of the NewYork State Advocacy and Resource Center delivered their goodwill messages and keynote remarks at the opening.

Amdi Salam, the Creative Director of Special Needs Initiative For Growth and Gail Prensky moderated presentation sessions of diverse presenters from countries such as Gunasekaran Shanmugam (Bahrain), Rakesh Dhasmana (India), Ojonuma Miachi (Nigeria), Goretti Byomire (Uganda), Tolu Olaniyan (United Kingdom) and Sean Maclaughlin (United States).

Amdi stated that the global town hall meeting is needed for members of majority world disability communities to share concrete strategies and to advocate for mainstream inclusion in response efforts for persons with disabilities.

There were representatives from the deaf community in the person of Mr.Tobi Omimakinde and Mrs. Funmi Ogunro who signed in American and British Sign Languages for the members of the deaf community who were in attendance.

There was open discussions between persons with disabilities and disability stakeholders on sectors ranging from inclusive technology, vaccine access to people with disabilities, educational strategies, creative arts and storytelling, employment (green jobs), gender equality, climate change and inclusive disaster planning, health & nutrition and the convention for the rights of persons with disabilities/Africa Disability Protocol.

At the end of the event, Multilateral Organizations such as the European Union and African Union affirmed their solidarity to keep mainstreaming and integrating persons with disabilities in all of their thematic focuses.

Racheal Inegbedion from Special Needs Initiative for Growth and Jennie Wendland from Disability Support International appreciated all the guests and speakers. They affirmed their support in strengthening relationships that will lead to social and economic growth for persons with disabilities globally.