The need to make all relevant printed materials readable to the Blinds is the priority of the Federal Government, the Executive Secretary, National Commission for Persons With Disabilities, Mr James David Lalu has indicated
He made this pledge at a Press conference organized by the National Association of the Blind (NAB) in collaboration with the Nigerian Copyright Commission in Abuja, on Thursday
A statement by the Head Press and Public Relations Unit Mbanefo JohnMichaels I quote Lalu to have indicated that the Federal Government has an enormous Printing Press situated in Lagos which will be very instrumental to the conversion of books into readable format for the blind community.
He pointed out that the provision of accessible format will also help restore out-of -school children whose population is mostly Children with disabilities.
“We cannot be discussing inclusive education without referring to the availability of accessible format in our primary and secondary schools” he underpinned.
Lalu eulogized President Muhammadu Buhari who despite the economic challenges in Nigeria signed into law the Bill that established the Commission in 2019.
He further urged for all hands to be on deck to monitor the enforcement of the recent Bill assented to by the President to legalize the convertion of accessible materials for the benefit of the blind at no cost.
An elated President of the National Association of the Blind, Comrade Ishaq Adamu expressed profound gratitude to the Executive Secretary for his open door policy and to President Muhammadu Buhari for going a step further in demonstrating his passion for Persons With Disabilities in the country.
He used the event to congratulate the entire community of the Blind on this noble feat since Nigeria became a signatory to the Marakesh treaty on 27th July, 2013.
Adamu cited section 26 of the Marakesh which empowers a blind person to copy literary works into accessible formats.
Earlier in his speech, the Director General, Nigerian Copyright Commission, Dr. O. Asein stated that President Buhari’s vision in creating the platform which domesticates the copyrights of printed works in Nigeria without any course of discrimination is commendable.
The DG also hinted of the role of Universal Basic Education (UBEC) and Tertiary Institutions’ Trust Fund (TETFUND) in supporting the education of Persons With Disabilities across the Country.
While acknowledging the ES for hosting the group, he gave the assurance that the necessary funds will be provided in order to assist the education of the visually impaired at various levels of learning.