The U.S. diplomatic Mission to Nigeria public affairs section has advocated the increased participation of Persons with Disability,

The U.S. diplomatic Mission to Nigeria public affairs section has advocated the increased participation of Persons with Disability, PWDs in sporting activities as a way to promote their inclusion and contribution to national development.The Information Attaché in the U.S. Embassay, Mrs. Jeanne clark stated this in Abuja at a panel discussion to highlight the issues surrounding access for persons with disabilities to commemorate the international day of persons with disabilities According to the Information Attaché in the U.S. Embassy, Mrs. Jeanne Clark, sports served as a unifying factor and was critical in engaging young persons with disabilities utilize their energy positively by encouraging equal opportunities for PWDsShe further noted that the year 2020 marked 30 years anniversary of the American Disability Act and the US was willing to partner with Nigeria using its experience to effectively implement the Discrimination against persons with disabilities prohibition act.“with the passage of disability rights legislation In Nigeria, we encourage continued partnerships to explore opportunities and support to increased participation of person with disabilities in sports. We also encourage reflection on our America disability rights to strengthen the implementation of disability rights in Nigeria” she said During a panel discussion on issues surrounding access for persons with disabilities, a sport for development enthusiast, Aderonke Ogunleye-Bello and a Coach at the FCT Sport Council Mr. Chris Agoawuke expressed the need to create more awareness among institutions to establish opportunities for PWDs through a conducive environment to boost their participation.Another panellist and the Disability Inclusive Development Advisor at the Christoffel Blinden Mission, Dr Balogun Adekunle who joined virtually explained that political inclusion of PWDs was critical in promoting their equal participation in all spheres of society.A student of the school for Special Needs, FCT Vivienne Ajom and other students with hearing impairments who spoke through an interpreter expressed their thoughts if given the chance to speak with President Mohammadu Buhari.“I will tell him he should try and create more places for disability people like restaurant, sometimes when we are going out we don’t really go to restaurants because some of the doors are not for disability people. I don’t want to stay at home and I don’t want to be a liability to the country” they saidThe secretary of the Paralympics Committee, Mr. Suleiman Isa said the Committee was beginning to source for grassroot talents in schools and communities to expand the participation of persons with disabilities in sporting activities.
AZIZATU SANI

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