Her Excellencies, Dr. Mrs Idiat Adebule, Deputy Governor of Lagos State and Mrs. Bolanle Ambode, Wife of the Governor of Lagos State joined hundreds of pupils and students living with disabilities to celebrate the International Day for persons living with disabilities at the Blue Roof, LTV 8, Agidingbi- Ikeja recently. Speaking at the event, Adebule opined that the theme of this year’s celebration “transformation towards sustainable and resilient society for all” was in tandem with the inclusive governance mantra of this administration led by His Excellency, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode.
In pursuit of this goal, the Lagos State Government according to Adebule employed 250 physically challenged people into the mainstream of the State and Local Government Service Commission and presented Assistive devices, Vehicles and Empowerment grants to 2,000 PWDs during the year. She revealed that to increase the number of employable PWDs in the future, the government embarked on mass mobilization and public enlightenment to have challenged children enrolled in her special and inclusive schools.
The result according to her was that, enrollment has increased from the 1049 pupils/students in 2015 to 2661 pupils/students while the number of schools have also increased from 29 primary inclusive schools to 31 and secondary inclusive schools increased from 6 to 12. Adebule said the government was excited that, the challenged children are reciprocating the gesture of government by participating in competitions and winning medals.
The Special Guest of Honour, Mrs Bolanle Ambode in her goodwill message urged the challenged people never to feel rejected or dejected as the government of Lagos State was determined to help them achieve their full potentials. The theme of this year’s celebration according to her sought to increase awareness of gains to be derived from the integration of persons withdisabilities in every aspect of political, social, economic and cultural life.
She therefore called on all Special people to register with the Lagos State Office of Disability Affairs (LASODA) to enable them benefit from the various programmes put in place to assist PWDs realize their dreams and live a fulfilled live. Ambode implored all parents of who have challenged children to register them in the special schools so that government can help them realize their full potentials.
She noted that “There is no point hiding because of physical challenges, all parents who have challenged children should not see them as bad omen, they are created specially by God Almighty to achieve specific purposes. They are not destined to be beggars, they are capable of living independently if assisted to acquire requisite skills”.