They reached the consensus at the first ‘Stakeholders Summit on Disability’ organized by the office of the Special Adviser to the Lagos State Government on Social Development. The Summit, whose theme was Ability in Disability: A Stitch in Time Saves Nine, was held at the Civic Centre, Victoria Island, Lagos on Tuesday.
Addressing participants at the occasion, the Executive Governor of the State, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, represented by Her Excellency, the Deputy Governor, Dr. Idiat Adebule, said the state government had decided that every category of people necessary must henceforth align forces to make life more meaningful for children living in disabilities.
The governor said early intervention of disability in the affected children would help a lot in giving hope of a meaningful life to those children. As a result of that, he said the concept of early intervention was targeted at parents and guardians of the target children. His words: “Early intervention of disabilities in children will afford you the opportunity to do what is needful medically. Since nothing can be done to change the circumstances of those children, you must show them the abilityto support them in harnessing their potentials.”
In her welcome address, the Special Adviser to the Governor on Social Development, Mrs. Joyce Onafowokan, disclosed that the governor’s inaugural speech in which Governor Ambode advised that our circumstances should not be obstacles to our dreams with the promise that the issues of disability will receive greater attention this year necessitated the Summit.
In his keynote address delivered at the Summit, Professor Julius Ademokoya, Dean, Faculty of Education, University of Ibadan, said there is no person with disabilities without abilities for one’s good and the good of humanity; provided necessary assistance is given.
He therefore advised that some programmes and procedures must be put in place to ensure early identification of disabilities. Among the programmes he suggested are: Antenatal Disability Screening, Newborn Screening and Ability/Disability Assessment.
Similarly, Dr. (Mrs.) BarakatAnimasahun, Associate Professor/ Consultant Paediatrician, College of Medicine, Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, Ikeja, Lagos, said disability in children can lead to stigma and discrimination; poor caregiver interaction; institutionalization; violence, abuse and neglect; as well as limited access to programmes and services.According to her, all these easily lead to poor survival, development and failure to reach full potential.