DRF Coalition, an organisation made of four led women organizations for Persons with disabilities, has spoken on challenges of persons with disabilities. The coalition also presented it’s survey findings on COVID-19 in relation to Persons with disabilities (PWDs) – to the Nigerian Human Rights Commission.

The Coalition, which included Inclusive Friends Association, FAECARE Foundation, Advocacy for Women with Disabilities Initiative (AWWDI) and Haly Hope Foundation with support from Disability Rights Fund in a statement sent to Inclusive News Network on Tuesday said that the survey was carried out to determine the impact of COVID-19 and the preventive measures on persons with Disabilities.

The group added that it assessed the level of knowledge and awareness persons with disabilities have on COVID-19.

“The Coalition carried out this survey to determine the impact of COVID-19 and the preventive measures on persons with disabilities. We assessed the level of knowledge and awareness persons with disabilities have on COVID-19.

“We also determined the uptake of preventive measures known by Persons with disabilities, and ensured to identify gaps and make recommendations to stakeholders.”

The group stated that it expected Human Rights Commission as a major stakeholders in promoting the rights of Persons with Disabilities to use the document as a blueprint in it’s work and push for the rights of PWDs in Nigeria.

“The overwhelming negative response from our survey indicates that on multiple fronts Persons with Disabilities were negatively impacted by COVID-19. The specific COVID-19 preventive measures that respondents were most aware of where Hand washing for at least 20 seconds with soap, Hand Sanitizing with Hand Sanitizer and Social Distancing.”

“The concerns of real and fake news come to play with the major source of information being the social media, majorly Facebook. This to a great extent, indicates that persons with disabilities had to actively seek information on COVID-19 themselves. Women and girls must always have a face in any response that affects Persons with Disabilities like the pandemic, unfortunately as regards some of the support packages like the palliatives, many women with disabilities were still marginalized.”

While advising PWDs to expect a more Inclusive society, the group said the voices of PWDs has been amplified from the survey adding that every recommendations highlighted from the survey came from PWDs.

“The voices of PWDs has been amplified from this survey. Every recommendation highlighted came from Persons with Disabilities, this is positioning us as stakeholders in the issues as regards COVID-19 as it affected us. PWDs should hope for a more Inclusive society as we continue to advocate.”

The Coalition admonished Persons with Disabilities to be more aware and knowledgeable and involved in advocating for the rights of PWDs in the face of any Pandemic.”

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