Centre condemns stigmatisation of children with disabilities

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Grace Edema

The Service Director, Children’s Developmental Centre, Dr. Yinka Akindayomi, has said children with disabilities still suffer stigmatisation and prejudice from members of society.

Speaking at the end of the Universal Design Learning (UDL) training workshop for 75 inclusive school teachers in Lagos, Akindayomi maintained that all children could learn if given the opportunity.

The educators, who were from 25 public inclusive schools, were trained in how to impart the UDL skills, classroom planning, collaborative service delivery, school curriculum enhancement and UDL educational resource building.

Akindayomi said, “We are still battling with stigma, prejudice. People don’t believe in others with disabilities. People are not seeing them as human beings who have a lot to offer.”

“All children can learn, Lagos State is trying, it has adopted inclusive education for many years, but there are many children still out there that need education.”

She also said lack of funding was another major challenge, adding that people with special needs should be given due recognition.

‘Funding is another challenge, the sector is poorly invested in; people are suffering. During COVID-19, they were left out. Although the Lagos State Government tried, they complained that they were not carried along. In Lagos, we have inclusive education and there should be more collaboration; we need to build up capacities, support teachers by developing resource materials for these children,” she said.

Akindayomi added that the CDC was in partnership with the Irede Foundation and Festus Fajemilo Foundation to implement the United for Inclusive Education project.

One of the facilitators, Mrs. Hilda Twins of the Lagos State Universal Basic Education, said, “New things in the UDL were learnt. It is an opportunity for the teachers to put into practice what they have learnt here.”

A teacher at the New Oko-Oba Primary Inclusive Unit, Ifako-Ijaiye, Mr. Gabriel Adeniyi, said the training would help teachers to understand the peculiarities of each pupil and cater for them accordingly.

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