By: Okunade Adekunle
As part of plans to fully integrate people living with disabilities into government programmes and to create more enabling environment for them, the Lagos state government has commenced a three-day training workshop for staff on sign language.
The training, which is hosted by the Lagos State Office for Disability Affairs (LASODA), with the theme: “Towards an Inclusive Lagos,” was to ensure that civil servants, as agents of social re-engineering and integration, would facilitate an all inclusive participation of people who live with hearing deformity.
In a keynote a address, Commissioner for Youths and Social Development, Mrs Uzamat Akingbile-Yusuf at the opening ceremony of the training said it was aimed at, “breaking down the barrier of verbal communication between people living with hearing-impairment/ and hearing members of the public on the other hand.”
She said LASODA, as an agent of government that promotes better welfare services, rights, privileges and social integration of people living with disabilities in the state, would continue to facilitate training such as this to enhance better communication with concerned individuals.
She however enjoined the beneficiaries to make good use of the training.
General Manager, LASODA, Dr Babatunde Awelaiye, said the programme was meant to integrate people living with hearing impairment in the society.
He said this is in line with the state’s Special People Law, noting, that it will help them to communicate better.
Awelaiye added that the workshop would be an annual event, while appreciating the governor, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode for the initiative.
In his speech, LASODA chairman, Dr Waheed Olabodurin said the agency would reach out to all government bodies – ministries, agencies and departments to enlighten on the need for sign language, which according to him would establish better relationship amongst hearing and non-hearing staff in all the various units of the MDAs.
He further commended the governor for his support of the agency.