Centre for citizens with Disabilities (CCD) has urged federal government to make provision of sign language interpreter for Deaf group on all television stations in Nigeria.

The executive director, David Anyaele made the call when he led a team of delegation to pay courtesy visit to the minister of information and culture, Lai Mohammed in his office on Monday in Abuja.

CCD worried that the implementation of section 2 of the Discrimination against persons with Disabilities (prohibition) Act 2018 is still ineffective despite the outcry by persons with Disabilities (PWDs).

According to him “The Act provides that the Federal Ministry of Information shall make provisions for promotion of awareness regarding the rights, respect, and dignity of persons with disabilities, the capabilities, achievements, and contributions of persons with disabilities to the society.

He said “We are requesting for the full employment of Sign Language Interpreters in Nigeria Television Authority (NTA).

“We observed that during the pick of Covid-19, NTA was using the SLI for their 7am news which enhances access to news and information to the Deaf Community. However, our findings shows that the SLI are yet to be employed as staff of NTA, and their services and participation during news broadcasts has diminished.

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We are also calling that you use your good office to ensure that the Nigeria Broadcasting Commission includes the use of Sign Language Interpreters in all television news as a policy of the State. This will serve as a direct commitment for the full implementation of the Act by the Ministry.

“Section 28 and 29 of the National Disability Act provides for right to work and opportunity for employment. In fact, section 29 provides that all employers of labour in public organisations shall as much as possible have person with disabilities constituting at least 5% of their employment.

He requested that the ministry uses his influence to ensure that an audit of the Ministry Staff strength is conducted to ensure that 5% of the Staff capacity of the Ministry is reserved for citizens with disabilities.

He further called for collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Information to build the capacity of Senior Ministry officials on the Discrimination against Persons with Disabilities (Prohibition) Act 2018.

“This is to enhance the full implementation of the Act and service delivery of the Ministry on persons with disabilities.

“We seek the partnership of your Ministry as we plan a National Summit on Persons with Disabilities. The summit is expected to be held in the second quarter of this year, with participants drawn from the 36 States of the Federation.

In his response, Mohammed who urged other television stations to employ sign language interpreters for their programs, promised to assist the community in areas of advocacy to ensure the full implementation of the provisions contained in the Act.

The Minister stated that the government will continue to collaborate with PWDs to promote the imperatives in the Act, adding that directives would go out to all television stations to comply with the disability Act.

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