Persons With Disabilities(PWDs) have called on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to ensure complete deployment of Braille Ballot Guide and other assistive devices to enable them participate fully in the 2019 general elections.
Executive Director, Inclusive Friends Association and Covener, Access Nigeria Campaign, Miss Grace Jerry in her address at the National Conference on PWD Participation in the 2019 General Elections, yesterday in Abuja, said the objective of National Conference is to celebrate the strides made so far by INEC and the disability community towards making Nigeria’s elections more accessible as well as to set a reasonable agenda for the 2019 general elections.
Miss Jerry who commended the electoral body’s open door policy, also requested;
“We call on INEC to continue using signed language interpreters to interpret results in sign language for the benefit of voters with hearing impairments at it’s national collation centre. We also request that clear steps that would make polling units more accessible for PWDs be provided.
“This conference will specifically focus on maintaining the gains on INEC’s deployment of the Braille Ballot Guide, PWD-specific Election Day Written Instructions, Sign Language Interpreters at State- level collation centres and Magnifying Glasses during the 2019 elections all in the bid to ensure adequate participation of PADs in the electoral process”, she said.
Vice Chairman, Osun State Chapter of the National Association of the Blind, Mr. Joseph Oguniran, said they feel good about the process INEC has taken towards their inclusion in electoral process. He said, the new technology has not only aided them to participate in electoral process, but has also helped in safeguarding their votes.
“The virtually impaired persons can now vote for their preferred candidate without any assistance. This device is not only a guide, but it’s also a guard”, he said.
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