Naturally, at certain age, especially after graduation from school or apprenticeship in a trade, every individual look forward to choosing a suitor to introduce to his family as a life partner.
In this scenario, persons with disabilities are not left out.
This assertion was discussed at the virtual stakeholders meeting of Otun Ireti Old Students Association, an association which comprises of professionals with disabilities from Ondo and Ekiti States.
The association lamented their ordeals from parents of their suitors and prospective inlaws who in some cases discriminate against them and do everything within their power to discourage their children from marrying them.
The female counterparts explained their encounter with some dubious men who trick them into relationship and gilt them after wasting their time or disappear after one or two children.
Speaking further, the stakeholders explained that Persons With Disabilities are of various categories, ranging from challenges of the limbs, partial or complete blindness, deafness, albinism etc.
“Despite the physical or other challenges, persons with disabilities have strived through school to become professionals and administrators in various fields, and expert in other non-academic trades, sports etc”
From the available records, persons with disabilities have performed excellently well, even more than their able counterparts in whatever field they find themselves. And in terms of sports competition, it is on record that the special sports earn more medals for Nigeria than other regular sports.
However, despite all these struggles and achievements, the society still discriminate against PWDs when they are ready to choose a life partner.
According to the group, “Its disheartening to note that most of the suitors’ parents sometime come up with unfounded stories and excuses to discourage their children from marrying a PWD”
The old boys stakeholders further disclosed that “Some of the suitors’ parents were of the opinion that disability is contagious and hereditary, it was also believed that men with physical challenge cannot perform sexually and the females cannot carry pregnancy and deliver successfully”
To this end, the association condemned in the strongest terms, the dubious characters taking advantage of women with disabilities and advise that they stop their ungodly ways.
The group also debunked the misconception of parents and inlaws, noting that disability is neither hereditary nor contagious.
“People with disabilities are people who have passion, sense, vigour, wisdom, sense of humour and above all they are equally humans who wish to express their God given talent, ability and dexterity”.
“Most of the people with disabilities were not born with it. It happened by accident and parents should be advised to note that people with disabilities are professionals in various fields and academic scholars who are more than capable to take care of their children”
“Our stand is against the insinuation that people with disabilities can not produce children, they can produce children as evident in the fathers and mothers with disabilities around us”