In continuation of its commitment to leaving no one behind in the promotion of Agenda 2030 for sustainable development, the United Nations has unveiled the Braille Version of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Initiated and produced by the United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) Nigeria, the SDGs in Braille was unveiled on Thursday, 11 January 2018 at the closing ceremony of the One-Week Braille Celebration in Abeokuta, Ogun State.
Presenting the SDGs Braille to the Ogun State Commissioner for Education, Science and Technology, Mrs Modupe Mujota, the UNIC National Information Officer, Dr Oluseyi Soremekun, noted that in deepening inclusive access to information, UNIC took steps to ensuring that no one is left behind in understanding the global development framework, ‘Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to which both the Federal and State Governments have aligned their development priorities.
The National Information Officer, who represented the Director of UNIC Nigeria, Mr Ronald Kayanja, enjoined the Honourable Commissioner for Education, Science and Technology, to share the SDGs Braille in all the Schools for the Blind in the State. The SDGs Braille, according to him, was aimed at fostering access to information by all and enhancing a sense of inclusiveness amongst the blind.
“The blind are human beings and their rights to education and other rights as enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) must not be denied them. In line with the Salamanca Statement and Framework For Action On Special Needs Education, I call on governments to give the highest policy and budgetary priority to Special Needs Education.” He added. Dr Soremekun later presented to Mrs Mujota, copies of the Braille Version of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) which was the world’s first complete UDHR in braille, initiated and produced by UNIC Lagos Nigeria.
Speaking, the Honourable Commissioner for Education, Science and Technology, acknowledged that the World Braille Day provided the opportunity to raise awareness about issues mitigating against the education and communication needs of blind persons. “The challenges blind people face in normalisation and inclusion into the mainstream of our society are many. The dearth of reading materials, specialised aids, games and equipment to mention but just a few.” She explained.
Mrs Mujota therefore, called on individuals, corporate bodies and other stakeholders to complement the State Government’s efforts by contributing to the growth of Special Needs Education Institutions.
Welcoming the audience to the occasion, the Director of Special Needs Education, Ogun State Ministry of Education, Science and Technology, Mr Elijah Akinyemi, commended the Ogun State House of Assembly for the passage of the Ogun Disability Bill on 16 November 2017 and called on Governor Ibikunle Amosun to assent to the bill to realise an inclusive society which provides every citizen of Ogun State the attainment of their inalienable rights.
The high point of the Braille Celebration was the brilliant reading of the SDGs Braille by Ms Ronke Gisanri of the State Ministry of Information, Abeokuta.