Persons with disabilities in Osun State have decried the negative attitude of able-bodied towards them, saying the stigmatisation was disheartening.
The group under the aegis of the Joint National Association of Persons with Disabilities (JONAPWD), also lamented the delay in the domestication of the discrimination against persons with disability provision act in the state.
The PWDs stated this in Osogbo, during a 2 days capacity building training for Organisations of Persons With Disabilities in Osun State on Rights-Based Advocacy and Strategies, organised by Festus Fajemilo Foundation.
Speaking on behalf of the different clusters of PWDs, the State Chairman, JONAPWD, Mr Stephen Idowu, said it is saddening that discrimination and stigmatisation of PWDs were still happening in our society, calling on people to stop treating them differently.
According to him, some people in society do not want to associate with them due to their conditions and the government is not making things easy for them due to unfavourable policies against the group.
He added that the PWDs needed help, especially in public places to perform and express themselves effectively.
“People’s attitude towards persons with disability is very derogatory. The languages people used to qualify us are very bad.
“Landlords do not want to give us apartments because of our conditions and it makes it very difficult for us to secure accommodation. Securing employment is another issue. People are not ready to give our members job.
“Accessibility to public buildings is very important for our members to be able to reach anywhere in the public space,” he said.
In his speech, the co-founder of the foundation, Afolabi Fajemilo said the domestication of discrimination against persons with disabilities provision act will ensure a good life for the PWDs in the state.
Fajemilo said PWDs have potential that can be beneficial to society if tapped into, adding that all the foundation was asking for was an equal and inclusive society.
“The foundation has commenced a policy advocacy project in Osun since 2021. We’ve been supporting the mobilisation of persons with disability to be able to actively engaged stakeholders, most especially, duty bearers on the push for the domestication of discrimination against persons with disability provision act which was signed by President Muhammadu Buhari in 2019.
“It is this law that will ensure a good life for persons with disability. It will push away discrimination and stigmatisation of persons with disability.
“These people have potentials that the society can benefit from but unfortunately, the society is losing a lot because we are not tapping into it. All we are asking for is an equal and inclusive society where everybody can thrive and with that, the society stands a lot to benefit,” he said.
The different clusters of PWDs at the capacity building training include; those with physical disabilities, those with impaired vision, those with hearing impediments and those with spinal cord injury among others.