Executive Director/Chief Responsibility Officer, Center for Ability Rehabilitation and Empowerment (CARE), Dr. Chike Okogwu has advocated for better treatment for Air travel for People With Disabilities (PWDs), following challenges faced in airports while traveling.
Dr. Okogwu, who made the call on thursday during an advocacy visit to Executive Secretary, National Commission for Persons with Disability in Abuja, said the first project will start from the airport.
“Passengers with disabilities face infrastructure, information, and customer service barriers at airports. For example, complex terminal layouts and long distances between gates can be hard to navigate. Additionally, travel information is not always available in a format that is accessible to all”. He explained.
“Infrastructure barriers can include complex terminal layouts and long distances between gates and can be difficult for some to navigate.
Essential travel information is not always available in a format accessible to all”.
“For example, a person with hearing loss could miss crucial gate information that is solely provided over a loudspeaker.
A passenger might not receive appropriately sensitive service, such as wheelchair, and other essential assistance at the airport,
It is on these premises that the Center for Ability Rehabilitation and Empowerment, (CARE) are advocating for the need for access to Aviation for persons with disability and also disability Desk in all the Airport in Nigeria”. He noted.
According to him, provision has been made for elivators at the airport to help alliviate hardship faced by people with disabilities and also a disablity desk officer in all the airport.
He said that a sign language will also be provided to help direct people with such disorder so that as soon as they drop from the airport, someone will be there to direct them.
“A proper arrangement has also been made for the Albinos, and pregnant Women who are disabled”. He added.
On his part, Executive Secretary, National Commission for Persons with Disabilities, Mr. James Lalu while commending the organization for the initiative, he said the commission was proud to be identified with the project, noting that it would do everything possible to ensure that access to Aviation for PWDs is a success.
He said “as an institution saddled with the responsibility of over 35 million Nigerians living with disabilities, access to Aviation is an important and stragetically part of the Commission’s mandates
“Section 18 of the Disability Act, provide for the Aviation sector to properly make accesseble for PWDs
“I recall the Executive Director of this organization is a victim of our Airport. Just recently we travelled together, we saw how difficult and the different challenges faced by PWDs in our airlines”.
He however assured the Organization of the Commission’s commitment and sustainability of the project, promising that the Commission will make budgetary allocation to support the project to succeed.
According to Mr. Lalu, the commission was ready and committed to take over the project immediately so as to see to the expansion of the project for all Nigerians
“Disability is one the most important areas we are deeply committed to making aviation accesseble to PWDs.
“The commission is ready to assist regulators and operators in facilitating movement and services for PWDs at the airports”. He added.