Coalition of Disability Organisations, in collaboration with some organizations, have called on the airline industry to provide accessible roads for Persons With Disabilities in the nation’s Airports.
Executive Director of CCD, David Anyaele, made the call on Tuesday at a one-day sensitisation programme for airline operators in Kano.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the collaborative organizations were the Centre for Citizens with Disabilities (CCD) and the Spinal Cord Injury Association of Nigeria (SCIAN).
Anyaele, represented by Coalition’s Administrative Manager, Mrs Florence Chima, said the programme was aimed at sensitizing Airline industries on the need to provide easy access roads to airport for persons with disabilities in Nigeria.
He said that Persons with disabilities were often faced with the lack of amenities at airports such as ramps wheelchairs, inaccessibility to restrooms and at times denied them chances to travel.
“There had been numerous accounts of outright denial of air travel rights, as well as humiliating and degrading treatment of persons with disabilities at the nation’s airports,’’ he said.
According to him, the Disability Rights Act is hinged on the provisions of the Act prohibiting discrimination against persons with disability, signed into law in 2018 by President Muhammadu Buhari.
He said that the act provides person with disability the right access to the physical environment and buildings on an equal basis with others.
“Section 14 of the Act also demands that “all airlines operating in Nigeria must ensure accessibility of their aircraft to persons with disabilities.
“Make available functional wheelchairs for their conveyance, assist them to get on and off board in safety, and ensure they are accorded priority while boarding among other demands,” he said.
Earlier, the Chairman, Spinal Cord Injury Association of Nigeria (SCIAN), Mr Matepo Abdulwahab, said there is the need to put logistics for persons with disabilities, make the structures accessible to them without double cost.
“We are calling for accessible format like, brail, large or bold print audio, visual and use of sign language interpreters for various languages,” Abdulwahab said.
He also appealed for enlightenment programmes at all nation’s airports for People with disability.
Head of customer services, Aminu Kano International airport Kano, Hajiya Zuwaira Yahaya, assured the stakeholders that their requests would be forwarded to the government for action.
She assured Persons with disability that they would be accorded due attention at the nation’s airports and therefore urged them to report any case of discrimination to customer service desk.
“You are at our hearts and you have the right to challenge bad service,” she added.
In her speech, the Executive Director, Gender and Disability Inclusion Advocacy Center (GADIAC), Rabi Gezawa, called for the special training for Airport operators to enable them handle persons with disability as well as creating sensory rooms to assist them. (NAN).