NAB wants government to make budgetary provisions for the blind
In commemoration of this year’s World Braille Day, members of Nigeria Association of the Blind (NAB) have stressed the need for government to make budgetary provisions to make reading materials accessible to the blind.
Speaking during the programme held in association with the Nigerian Copyright Commission (NCC) and Nigerian Publishers Association in Lagos, the members argued that less than one per cent of published books was written to comply with standards of visually-impaired people.
National President of NAB, Mr. Adamu Ishiyaku, said the visually-impaired should not be looked down on in the society adding that they are people who are excellently endowed and their potentials should be harnessed in order to make the country great economically.
Head of Committee on Education, Nigeria Association of the Blind, Mr. John Okon, noted that whenever government makes budget for provision of books to schools; no part of the budget is usually made for blind people. He added that TETFund grants must also be given to visually impaired, like they are made available to other students.
He added that there is need for domestication of Marrakesh Treaty that allows for copyright exceptions to facilitate the creation of accessible versions of books and other copyrighted works for visually impaired persons.
In his speech, Director General, Nigerian Copyright Commission, Mr. John Asein, stated that the commission is formulating policies towards ensuring that the blind and visually impaired have access to the written words, adding that the Copyright Bill would also provide succor to the blind.
He said the Discrimination Against Persons with Disabilities Act that was signed by President Buhari in 2019 would remove barriers among visually impaired and other Persons living With Disabilities. He added that beyond signing the Bill into an Act, he said equal access to whatever the nation is providing, would be given to PWDs.
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