JONAPWD ADVOCACY TEAM VISITS THE NATIONAL ORIENTATION AGENCY IN AWKA.
This visit was made at the agency's state headquarter, Awka, on Tuesday, 20th October, 2020, in continuance of the association's ongoing advocacy visits to the identified service providers/ relevant MDAs on the need for the implementation of the Anambra State Disabilities Rights Law 2018, sponsored by the European Union's RoLAC program in Anambra state.
Delivering the advocacy brief, the chairman of the association in Anabra state, Comr. Ugochukwu Okeke, pointed out the the major reason for the was that the team has identified their agency as one of the service providers that will help in creating awareness about the law and to promote the need for its speedy implementation in the state.He went further to enumerate other issues in focus as it relates to the agency's responsibilities in the implementation of the ASDRL 2018 which include:
-To provide assistance in the creation of awareness on Disabilities Rights Law. 25 (1) of ASDRL (2018)
-To make provision for the construction of ramps that will improve access to persons with disabilities in their office. Section 23 (1) of ASDRL (2018)
-To make provision for inclusion of persons with disabilities in their team during public enlightenment programs at the grassroots to talk about disability issues.
-To encourage the officials of the agency both at the state and local government levels to learn basic sign language and disability etiquettes to facilitate easy communication..
Similarly, the treasurer of the association and the state chairman for the Deaf Mr Amobi Nwagwu, further appealed to the director of the agency, Barr. Charles Umeorji, to organize trainings for his staff on basic sign language communication and disability etiquette to enable them engage effectively with persons with disabilities at the various communities and also help us create awareness on the rights of persons with disabilities.
Also speaking at the event, the association's program officer, Miss Nwanokwara Ncheta, went further to explain what JONAPWD Anambra is all about as the only umbrella body of persons with disabilities in Anambra state with its presence in the 21 local government areas of the state, and are in the forefront championing the advocacy for improved welfare for persons with disabilities in the state.The state chairman while concluding, seized this opportunity to inform the agency that the Office of the Governor on Disability Matters has sign language interpreters employed by the Executive Governor of Anambra state who are on ground to assist their Agency for their staff trainings on sign language communication as soon as they are ready.
In his response to the advocacy prayers, the director of the agency, Barr. Charles Umeorji, expressed his pleasure at the exposure he had gotten about JONAPWD and its activities in the state. He tendered his apology and regretted for the absence of ramps in their building, saying that the structure is only a temporary office. He promised that the issue of accessibility would be at the fore-front in the construction of their permanent office.
Going further, he expressed his pleasure at the enactment of the Disabilities Rights Law in Anambra state, and thanked the chairman for presenting him with a copy of the law, promising to go through the content. He also expressed his realization of the importance of sign language communication for his staff, promising to organize staff trainings to that effect.
Similarly, he promised that he would explore the chance of engaging members of JONAPWD in their field works as suggested, and also pledged his agency's readiness to put the creation of awareness on the law as part of their routine programs.
On behalf of the project team, the project media officer, Miss Chidimma Ajemba, appreciated the director for the agency's pledged support towards making our voice heard on the issues of persons with disabilities and expressed her hope that all the issues pointed out would be adequately addressed as promised by the director.
Present in the agency's team that received the project team were the state director of NOA, Barr. Charles Umeorji; the program director, Sir Joseph Uchendu; the ICT/Media director, Obidiegwu ThankGod; and the staff director, Mr Emeka Okoye, the desk officer.
Making up the project team were the JONAPWD Chairman/Executive Director Comr. Ugochukwu Okeke, the JONAPWD treasurer, Mr Amobi Nwagwu; Special Assistant to the governor on sign language, Hon. Collins Joseph; the project officer, Miss Ncheta Nwanokwara; the project M&E officer, Miss Chinenye Ikele; and the project media officer, Miss Chidimma Ajemba.
High points of the visit were the presentation of a copy of the advocacy brief and the law to the director of the agency by JONAPWD chairman.