June 18, 2024

BY ODIANOSEN BELIEVE OSEMUAHU

The General Manager of Lagos State Office for Disability Affairs, Mrs. Adenike Oyetunde-Lawal has emphasised the need for grassroots campaigns by disability-focused NGOs towards achieving a shift in societal perceptions of Persons With Disabilities.

Speaking during a Zoom meeting with Dyslexia Nigeria, a non-profit organisation that supports individuals with dyslexia, led by its Managing Director, Dr. Adrienne Tikolo, the General Manager addressed the lack of awareness around dyslexia, stressing the importance of engaging communities for a more informed approach to cognitive conditions.

Mrs. Oyetunde-Lawal highlighted the common misconception of dyslexia, emphasising the necessity of community-level conversations.

She said most people do not know what Dyslexia means and how it affects children, adding that they only recognise their feelings towards a child they believe is not doing well academically and hence needs to be disciplined.

In her words, “Going to the grassroots to engage the people on Dyslexia and other conditions that affect the brain will bring about a better approach at handling such situations when they arise”.

She stated further that a lot needs to be done on awareness because a larger number of the populace do not know what Dyslexia means. “I believe very strongly that conversations like this will push this issue to the front burner”, she reiterated.

She, therefore, urged the group to join the Association for Intellectual and Developmental Disability (AIDDN), an umbrella body of Parents and Professionals of Children and Adults with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities in Nigeria to further expand on ways to reach areas that matter in the quest to create an informed society where everyone fully understands the condition and ways to manage it.

Earlier, the Managing Director of Dyslexia Nigeria, Dr. Adrienne Tikolo had requested the State government’s support through LASODA to enhance its awareness drive, particularly at the grassroots.

Also present at the meeting were Mrs. Olayide Odediran, Executive Director, Dyslexia Nigeria and Jenny Lokonon, Communications Associate, Dyslexia Nigeria.