Saturday, December 9, 2023

‘The physically challenged have limitations, not disability’


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By Momodou Jarju

Yahya Muhammed Bah has said what the physically challenged have are limitations but not disability itself, as society views them. He pointed out that everybody has limitations depending on the particular situation. Bah, who is also the country representative of Global Alliance on Accessible Technologies and Environments (GAATES), said: “What is expected of society is to complement our shortcomings.” Laying emphasis on inclusion, he pointed out that when one is excluded, the person feels rejected, noting that persons with disability have been excluded in society for decades.

Mr Bah was speaking on December 2, 2018, at a day-long workshop organised by the Organization for Social Development and Inclusion for Persons with Disability (OSDIVI), ahead of celebrations of World Disability Day, slated for 3rd December each year.

The gathering availed participants the opportunity to highlight the challenges they face in society and to find ways of mitigating them.

About a dozen participants took part in the day’s workshop held at the OSDIVI office in Kanifing.

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Speaking to participants, Landing Bojang, the public relations officer of OSDIVI the Gambia, said an enabling environment should be created for persons with disability, to realise their potentials.

He said society does not see their capacity, competence and/or potentials, which is rather unfortunate.

He urged advocates of persons with disability, to engage in research and education which will help them in their crusade, and quoted former South African president, Nelson Mandela, as saying: “Education is the most powerful weapon one can use, to change the world.”

The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of OSDIVI Yankuba Faal Sonko, said his organization was set up in 2011, with the aim of empowering persons with disability with skills such as IT training; that they do not want to see persons with disability going around town begging, but to acquire skills to help themselves

One of the participants Lamin K Fatty, implored on persons with disability, to unite in order to accomplish their desired aims and objectives.

OSDIVI is an organization that comprises persons with disability which is inclusive to all persons with disability, and offers training on Information Technology, Social Entrepreneurship and Music. It creates employment opportunities to members after undergoing the training, by identifying and or recommending places of work for them.

Sonko said thirty participants are currently undergoing training on the aforementioned subjects.

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