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UNILORIN to institutionalise Disability Day — VC



Prof. Wahab Egbewole, the Vice-Chancellor of University of Ilorin, on Monday announced plans to institutionalise the Disability Day in the university.

Egbewole made the announcement in Ilorin while hosting a team from the Voice of Disability Initiative (VDI) which paid him a courtesy visit.

He stated his support for individuals with disability, adding that the initiative would help to spotlight issues affecting people living with disabilities in Nigeria.

The Vice-Chancellor explained that the visit reinforced the university’s standing as a bastion of inclusive education, and commended the group’s efforts.

“I assure VDI of UNILORIN’s commitment, and I pledge to partner with the organisation in executing the organisation’s programmes at the University of Ilorin and the larger Ilorin community,” he said.

Egbewole highlighted the university’s proactive stance towards changing the institution’s Centre for Supportive Services for the Deaf to a more comprehensive Centre for Supportive Services for Persons with Disability.

“The University is also forging partnership with the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) for the purpose of advancing inclusive education,” he said.

Egbewole reiterated the university’s readiness to provide facilities that would assist students with disabilities during JAMB examinations.

“The two-year stay of VDI in Ilorin will foster a stronger synergy between the organisation and the university. Such a relationship will solidify their joint commitment to inclusive education,” he said.

Speaking earlier, Catherine Edeh, the Executive Director of VDI, said her team was soliciting for the support of the Vice-Chancellor and his management team in realising the group’s mandate.

She said VDI would be implementing a two-year project (2023-2025) in Kwara on the rights of persons living with disabilities, especially women and girls.

The VDI Executive Director added that the project would be funded by Amplify Change, a UK-based international development organisation.

Edeh, a University of Ilorin Law graduate, recalled the university’s pioneering role in disability inclusion, and breaking protocols to accommodate individuals with disabilities, even in professional courses like Law and Medicine.

She recalled that the University is unique in pursuit of law despite her disability, unlike some other universities in Nigeria that often redeploy students living with disability to study special education.

“The university is a beacon of hope and as a product of both the University of Ilorin and Kwara, VDI considers the university a potential beneficiary of grants,” Edeh said.

According to her, the grant focuses on projects in Enugu state, Kwara, and Ebonyi.

She disclosed that the group had previously spent 18 months in Enugu state, observing varying levels of passion for inclusive disability initiatives across regions.

Fatima Mohammed-lawal

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