The Lagos State government has reiterated its commitment to give priority to People Living With Disabilities (PLWD) in the state with the launch of comic books aimed at promoting a friendly platform for disability inclusion.
This was made known by the senior special adviser to the governor on PLWD, Adenike Lawal, at the book launch comic book titled “Iredians” in Lagos, recently.
Lawal admonished parents with children living with disabilities to get closer to the office of disability affairs and benefit from the numerous offerings from the government.
“The governor shall put its weight behind Irede Foundation and others who are striving to ameliorate the plights of PLWD, the government cannot do it alone. Disability does mean inability,it only means ability to do things differently,” she affirmed.
On the book titled ‘The Iredians’, the program Officer at Irede, Gerald Obasi, revealed that the literary work was designed to ensure that every child living with disability is included not only in education but in society.
“The comic book came to show the world that we abhor any form of discrimination and stigmatization against PLWD. We developed characters that are unique,” he said.
He added that the Foundation intended to storm non- inclusive Schools in the state with the aim of making children without disabilities to embrace children living with disabilities and treat them with love and respect.
For the Executive Director, The IREDE Foundation, Crystal Chigbu,‘IREDIANS’ is a part of the Foundation’s awareness and advocacy campaign for the representation of children with disabilities in society and art.
“The goal is to drive the message of inclusion and raise awareness among children in schools about children living with disabilities.
“Different is unique, that’s what children and people with disabilities are” IREDIANS is a dream come true for me because it allows these children to recognize the uniqueness of their disabilities through art.”
According to her, this would be a start of more inclusivity for children with disabilities “We hope that soon they will see themselves in animation features to understand that they are able to live an independent and limitless life regardless of their disabilities,” she affirmed.
Speaking also, the Director, Child Guidance, School Counselling & Special Education, Somoye Olusola, who represented the Commissioner for Education, assured that the government would not relent from taking proper care for the 34 and 16 inclusive primary and secondary schools respectively in the state.
“Children in these Inclusive schools are given special attention in line with SDG number four.”
Director, Lagos office for Disability Affairs, (LASODA), Adesina Aina, advised parents and the society to love and treat PLWD with lots of respect and care.
Aina said, “Don’t hide these children living with disabilities. There are a lot of Programs packaged for them. Parents and caregivers should bring them for registration and proper planning and management of their affairs.”