As part of CARE’s effort to create accessibility in the 47 airports across the nation, the Center for Ability Rehabilitation and Empowerment has called for more support.
The Executive Director of CARE made this appeal on Friday during a visit to one of the rightholders (National Association of Persons With Physical Disabilities, NAPWPD FCT).
During the courtesy visit, Dr. Chike expressed his gratitude for Oxfam Voice for supporting the Accessible Aviation project of CARE, which has achieved many milestones recently.
“Now, I can authoritatively tell Persons With Reduced Mobility (PRM) to inform the officials at the airport so that they have access to the VIP park in order to reduce their stress”.
“With the help of Oxfam Voice, we have acquired a Stair Climber Wheelchair and Surface Scissors Elevator for wheelchair users to help them get on the flight without stress instead of the former practice of being carried to the flight”.
Speaking further, he said that CARE has permanent staff with an All Access Duty Card at Abuja airport which if you are a traveler with disability, inform them ahead of time and they will be there to assist from the arrival at the airport to the aircraft, and it is for all forms of disabilities.
He said that they have covered only Abuja Airport out of 47 airports in Nigeria.
He used the opportunity to call on government and donors to support CARE to reach out to the rest of the airports across the country.
He also informed that FAAN has created disability desk officers in the airports.
“In our scaling up, we would be working on sign language interpretation for the Deaf and the needs of the blind in all airports”.
Dr. Okogwu told the association that their visit is to inform them (rightholders) what CARE is doing and the accessibility facilities already in place at the airport to enhance easy access for persons with disabilities.
“We want to use this opportunity to urge you to inform your members of these facilities”.
The Chairman, National Association of Persons With Physical Disabilities NAPWPD FCT, Comrade Agbo Christian Obiora, in his response appreciated CARE and Oxfam Voice for the initiative and said that it has provided access for persons with disabilities. He said that Persons With Physical Disabilities are the most beneficial of the project.
The incidence of discrimination which was on a rise before now has been reduced.
He cited example with his last air travel which was seamless unlike what it used to be.
“When I got to the airport, on mentioning that I am a wheelchair user, I was allowed to be taken to the VIP park by the Uber and I was helped from there until I was boarded. It wasn’t the case before now”.
In light of the fact that many Deaf people have missed their flight at some point due to unable to hear the announcement, he called for more advocacy on sign language interpretation. He also urged CARE to identify the needs of other clusters and push advocacy towards addressing them.
He promised to use the association’s platforms to create awareness about the facilities provided by CARE in Abuja Airport.
Comrade Musa Muazu Musa, secretary of the association, said that CARE has provided support to persons with disabilities through the Accessible Aviation project. He urged them to cover other airports especially the major airports,
Speaking further, he called for partnership with CARE to further promote accessibility to other areas/places.