There is a school of thought that believes that the Disability Right Act is just merely about the one million naira fine against individuals and corporate bodies that discriminate against PWDs, however I want to make it clear that Disability Right Act is far more than that.
It’s a bill that will make the education of people with disabilities free and compulsory (there by reducing the menace of street begging), free health care, five percent appointment in any government MDAs reserved and most importantly at least five percent of political appointments made at the State and Local Governments shall be reserved for qualified Persons with Disabilities.
Moreso, political parties are not only going to grant waiver, but also to subsidize the fees for disabled aspirants and ensure the position of disabled leaders from Ward to National level (a move APC started but yet to be fully implemented).
In addition, Section 31 of the Act, the National Commission for Persons with Disabilities will be established and an Chairman/ Executive Secretary will be appointed as the head of the commission.
It’s also a Bill/Act that will make the rights and privileges of persons with disability include education, health care, priority in accommodation and emergencies.
The Act prohibits all forms of discrimination against persons with disability. If an individual is found violating this law, he/she will pay a fine of N100,000 or a term of six months imprisonment. The law imposes a fine of one million naira on corporate bodies.
The Act also gives citizens with disabilities the right to file a lawsuit for damage against any defaulter.
An Executive Secretary is also to be appointed as the head of the commission among many other provisions made in the law to protect the rights of persons with disabilities.
These are few of the reasons while those of us in the disabled community are fighting for the passage and implementation of this law.
The disabled community is seriously advocating for a society which celebrates differences, a society that doesn’t react to physical, sensory or intellectual impairment, or emotional distress with fear and with prejudice. All we seek is an inclusive society which recognizes the difficulties we face but which also values us for what we are.
Join us to fight for its implementation at the Federal level and passage as well as implementation at the States’ level.
Without sounding repetitive, this bill mean so much to every member of the disability community and the society in general.