By Paul Efiong, Abuja
A non Governmental Organisation known as ‘Steps to the Top Leadershi Centre (STLC), has ask Government at all levels to construct public infrastructure to suit persons with special needs and made public space to be accessible to people with disabilities.
The Founder/Executive Director of STLC, Dr. Theresa Nwachukwu made the call at the weekend during the second phase of ‘’Program Thinkable 2”, in Abuja.
A sources said the training programne was aim at changing the mine set of women living with Disabilities to allow them realise their God given potential rather than resorting to arms from the public. the event was sponsored by the Voice of Nigeria in Conjunction with Oxfam International to shape the mind set of women with disabilities as well as make them useful to themselves, their family and the society at large.
‘’There are universal standards for how high public buildings, toilet should be constructed for persons on a wheelchair to move between around. Those standards should start to be maintained”,
According to Dr. Nwachukwu.’’’There is a standard of where the doorknob should be. It is difficult for people with disabilities to get around. Everything should just be made accessible to people with disabilities.
‘’Policies need to be changed, government should improve accessibility to public transports, healthcare, social services, education etc, for persons with disabilities.
She further explained that program thinkable was aimed at shifting the mindset of women with disabilities in Abuja.
She added that the program was to give them the capacity to speak up for themselves and to have grace to carry themselves in spite of living with disabilities.
‘’We found out that some of the challenges of women with disabilities is lack of self confidence.
‘’Most of the activities that people do for people with disabilities are always like charity or empowerment, trainings and giving grinding machines for example.
‘’But we are actually at the level of the mindset of helping a woman to have confidence in herself, to set goals, have a clear vision of what she wants, learn how to communicate with other people.
‘’How to set a vision. What do you understand about who you are as a woman living with disability? How to communicate with people. How to prepare for job interviews, amongst others,” she said.
Nwachukwu also said that engaging women with disabilities in community service was another way if changing the narrative on how people see persons with disabilities as being a liability.