PLWD urged on digital inclusion, welfarism
In commemoration of the International Day of Persons Living With Disability (PLWD), experts have called for digital inclusion and adequate welfarism for people with special needs, saying with technology, disability is invisible.
This was made known yesterday at the unveiling of the top 30 Most Inspiring Persons with Disability of the year, and seven finalists of the business support pitching competition, organised by Project Enable Africa and supported by Aspire Coronation Trust (ACT) foundation.
The goal of the business support programme is to promote entrepreneurs with disabilities’ access to training content, tools, resources and mentorship, necessary to scale their businesses, especially in the post-COVID era.
A person living with Cerebral Palsy, Olawale Dada, won the pitching competition and his business received the funding of $1000 for possible expansion.
The Executive Director, Olusola Owonikoko, noted that it was important that PLWDs were trained in digital skills, such as web development, graphic design, photo and video editing and digital business manager among others. He noted that this would position them for an income, contribute to the Gross Domestic Product of the country and also have self-confidence.
“If a PLWD sits in his house and creates graphics for you, it doesn’t matter who did it. That is why we are equipping persons with disabilities to be more productive with technology. With technology, they can do more. They can go to school online; and their disability becomes less visible.”
Jumiad Adebowale, a visually-impaired candidate, urged government to go beyond making policies without implementation, saying that many of the government promises to PLWD were unfulfilled.
“Government should implement more programmes, not just on paper. Most of the programmes we see are just on paper. In terms of implementation, it is zero. They should bring in programmes that will be implemented to alleviate poverty. Also, when planning for people with disabilities, the government should put in place people with disability because they are the ones to understand our plight more.”