By Stanley Onyekwere
An Abuja-based Non-Governmental Organisation, Teenz Global Foundation (TGF) has called for more friendly environment for special needs children to have improved access to education and mainstream basic healthcare amongst others in the society.
Making this point, Founder of the Foundation, Ijeoma Idika-Chima, said there is need to make schools, caregivers like parents and teachers become more receptive towards children with special needs, in providing care that they will need to live a productive life.
She spoke yesterday during a dialogue on special needs children and education in Nigeria, held at the American Corner, inside the premises of the National Centre for Women Development, Abuja.
Our correspondent reports that teachers, parents and teenagers especially those with disability drawn from twelve were part of the dialogue, which looked at identifying the different categories of disabilities among children.
According to the TGF boss, Nigeria leads as the top three in the world having people living with disabilities, hence the need to ensure a very friendly environment for these persons.
“There is this perception that the person with disability is a cursed person or God has decided to punish him or her.
“All hope is not lost, looking at the recently signed Disability Prohibition Bill that was signed into law by the president, aimed at enhancing the welfare of persons living with disability.
“We are evaluating the how impactful the Disability Act will help in making schools, caregivers like parents and teachers become more receptive towards children with special needs, in providing care that they will need.
“The Dialogue is like a collaboration between parents (who are the caregivers at home) and teachers (who are the caregivers at school), because they actually help to form the children.
“Our focus is on advocating for the right and accessibility for these children to have improved access to education, mainstream basic healthcare amongst others,” she stressed.
Continuing, she opined that:
“Moving forward, we are looking at developing a work on how best we can begin to sensitise and advocate for Citi to become more receptive children with disability and other persons living any form of challenges.
“We should see them as every normal person that have right to every basic needs that they may require to live a productive life.”