From Okwe Obi, Abuja
Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Sadiya Umar Farouq, has urged persons with special needs to adopt sign language as an alternative means of communication.
Umar Farouq who spoke yesterday in Abuja, at the national summit, launched the First Edition of the National Sign Language Dictionary and stated that the dictionary will provide harmonized and consistent understanding of signs for persons with special needs.
In a statement by her Special Adviser on Media, Nneka Ikem Anibeze, she said, “I am pleased that the Commission has developed a National Sign Language Dictionary for Nigerians who use signing as a first language.
“As we work towards creating an inclusive environment for persons with disabilities, I encourage others to enhance their communication skills by learning and adopting sign language as an alternative means of communication.
“I further recommend and invite heads of MDAs to utilise the services provided by the Commission, especially the braille translation facility, to ensure that all Government policies and programmes are accessible for the blind”.
The Minister, who also co-launched a disability registration and reporting system application, a 5-year plan from 2022 to 2026, added that the disability commission would do everything possible to ensure the safety of persons with special needs.
She further distributed and presented disability certificate in compliance with section 22 of the Disability Act an assured them of a flight-friendly access at all Nigerian airports and the first ever National Health Insurance Scheme for the first 600 beneficiaries.
According to her, President Muhammadu Buhari “remains the first and only President to have elevated the disability community to federal appointments.
“With one million PWDs in our NASSCO database, we presently provide about 115,000 with monthly stipends.
“Additionally, I approved the enrolment of 40,000 persons with disabilities into the batch C stream of the N-Power and through the GEEP programme, over 500 PWDs received their Point of Sale machines and seed money and have since commenced their businesses.
“These strategies are aimed at providing access, inclusion and effective communication in mediums available and understood by Persons With Disabilities to broaden their knowledge and reduce their risk to shocks”.