It was a moment of ecstasy and pure joy today in Ado-Ekiti as the administration of Biodun Oyebanji presented employment letters to six sign language interpreters and three other persons with disabilities at the premises of the Ekiti State Civil Service Commission.
The occasion which was witnessed by the Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Community Communication, Mrs Mary Oso-Omotoso also had in attendance the Executive Secretary of EKSODA, Mrs Funmilayo Fatoba, Ekiti State Joint National Association of Persons with Disability (JONAPWD) Chairman, Mr Owolabi Kayode and the Executive Director of DINABI Nigeria, Mr Olajide Funso.
The SSA to the Governor, Mrs Mary Oso-Omotoso emphasized on the readiness of the Oyebanji-led administration to run an inclusive government devoid of discrimination, exclusion and harassment. She stated that persons with disabilities are also part of the larger society, therefore every effort to make life comfortable for them must be put in place.
You will recall that on Friday 27th January, 2023, the Executive Governor of Ekiti State, Mr Biodun Oyebanji approved the immediate recruitment of sign language interpreters into strategic ministries, department and agencies during the stakeholders’ engagement meeting organized to commemorate his 100 days in office.
In his own remark, the Chairman of Joint National Association of Persons with Disabilities in Ekiti State, Mr Owolabi Kayode expressed his appreciation to the governor for this good gesture especially as it will make communication easy for his members. He said the governor had proven once again that he keeps his words. He encouraged the beneficiaries to perform above expectations in order to help others in the future to enjoy such benefit.
While speaking on the new development with the newsmen in Ado-Ekiti, the Executive Director of Disability Not A Barrier Initiative (DINABI Nigeria) appreciated the governor and the government of Ekiti state for responding to one of their demands on their ongoing advocacy project on accessibility of public facilities and services in Ekiti State. The one-year project which is being funded by Disability Rights Fund (DRF) seeks to advocate for compliance with the National Disability Act in Nigeria and the Ekiti State Disability Law by realizing the rights of persons with disabilities to access public facilities and services on an equal basis with others. He said there’s no doubt that this development will enhance the livelihood of persons with hearing impairment in our society as they will now have access to timely information on EKTV, access to qualitative healthcare services and other services rendered where the interpreters will be deployed to.
The Executive Secretary of EKSODA charged the newly employed interpreters to justify the confidence repose in them by putting in extra efforts in order to ensure timely and effective communication are provided to those in need of their services.
The beneficiaries who could not hide their joy appreciated the governor for this timely intervention. They also promised to put in their best in the discharge of their expected duties.
The newly employed Sign Language Interpreters were expected to be deployed to offices such as Broadcasting Service of Ekiti State, Ekiti State University Teaching Hospital, Ekiti State Office for Disability Affairs, Office of the Wife of the Governor etc.