By Chikaodi Chukwuleta
The Joint National Association of Persons With Disabilities (JONAPWD), Anambra State Chapter, has stressed the need to break down barriers and ensure technology and digital inclusion for everybody.
The Chairman of JONAPWD, Anambra State Chapter, Comrade Ugochukwu Okeke, who stated this at the commemoration of the 2023 International Day for Persons with Disabilities at Prof. Dora Akunyili Women Development Centre, Awka, observed that persons with disabilities are the most marginalized in the society,apart from facing numerous barriers to accessing education, employment, healthcare and social inclusion.
According to him, the event created an opportunity for them to understand how technology can help break some barriers that have been preventing them from attaining greater heights in life,which is the essence of the team focused on Breaking Down Barriers; Technology and Digital Inclusion.
He appealed to Governor Chukwuma Soludo to provide automatic employment for qualified people with disabilities in the ongoing teachers’ recruitment exercise in the state, even as he drew the attention of the state government to some of the challenges facing persons with disabilities in the state and asked her to collect and use the aggregate data on disability to inform policymaking, track progress and ensure accountability, such as regular disability surveys and involve persons with disabilities in data collection processes.
Chairman of the occasion and Chairman of the Disability Rights Commission, Anambra State, Barr. Chucks Ezewuzie emphasised the significance of the celebration and encouraged support for Governor Soludo’s agenda.
Managing Director of Anambra State Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Agency, Mr. Fred Agbata represented, by Mr. Tochukwu Ebeku, highlighted the agency’s commitment to inclusivity in technology, aligning with Governor Soludo’s vision.
“As we embrace the transformative power of technology, we must also recognise the unique challenges faced by individuals with disabilities. We must ensure that technological advancements are not just accessible to them but also designed with their needs in mind.
“The Anambra State ICT Agency in driving the vision of Mr. Governor, Prof Charles Chukwuma Soludo, CFR, for everything technology and technology everywhere, has taken a great step forward in recognising the importance of inclusivity by incorporating it into the ICT Policy…”
The event featured awards presentations to honor those contributing to the well-being of individuals with disabilities, dance, drama and news presentations.