The Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has charged youths to consolidate global effort to end all forms of exclusion, discrimination and inequalities experienced by persons with disabilities by developing innovative solutions that guarantee the provision of inclusive, accessible and equitable services for all.
Obaseki made the call in commemoration of the 2022 International Day of Persons with Disabilities, marked yearly by the United Nations and its sister agencies to promote the rights and well-being of persons with disabilities in all spheres of society and development.
The governor, who reassured his administration’s commitment to ensuring a level playing ground for persons with disabilities to thrive and realize their fullest potentials, said the government has signed the Edo Disability Bill into law, ensuring legal framework to protect them from discrimination, exclusion and other harmful practices by reason of their disability.
Describing as apt this year’s theme, “Transformative solutions for inclusive development: The role of innovation in fuelling an accessible and equitable world,” Obaseki noted that the event’s theme highlights the vital role that innovation and technology plays in promoting the rights and inclusion of persons with disabilities.
According to him, “We recognize the importance of innovation in proffering solutions to societal problems and are equipping our youths to leverage the super power of technology to provide innovative solutions to global problems, including ensuring inclusion and accessibility for persons with disabilities.
"We are confident that through the use of assistive technologies and other innovative solutions, we can ensure that persons with disabilities have the same opportunities and choices as everyone else. This includes access to information, communication, and transportation, as well as the ability to participate fully in all aspects of social and economic life.
"As a government, we are committed to creating a more inclusive and accessible society for all Edo citizens, including persons with disabilities and have implemented a number of initiatives and programmes to support the inclusion and empowerment of persons with disabilities, including providing access to education, healthcare, and employment opportunities."
He added, "We have also signed the Edo State Disability Bill into law, ensuring the protection and full integration of persons with disabilities into the society. We have established the Edo State Commission for Persons with Disabilities with the responsibility of assuring their education, healthcare and the protection of their social, economic, cultural, civil and political rights.”
According to the UN Secretary General, António Guterres, “Innovation and technology can be powerful tools for inclusion. They can enhance access to information, education, and lifelong learning. And they can open new avenues for persons with disabilities to participate in the workforce and society at large on an equal basis.”