By Patricia Amogu
The Joint National Association of Persons With Disabilities (JONAPWD) on Wednesday pledged its collaboration with the blind DJ, Austin Akpeji, a.k.a Aus J, who won 2020 Aid Talent Show.
The President association, Mrs Ekaete Umoh,made the disclosure when organisers of the Miss Health International Foundation and winner of the Aid Talent Hunt Show paid her a visit in Abuja.
Umoh said that the collaboration was aimed at changing the narratives and creating more awareness on the abilities of Persons Living With Disabilities (PLWDs).
“Most of the barriers that we see is the school of thought that says ‘we are not able, ‘everything is in the negative’,
“But Austin’s story is a proof that there is ability in disability.
“DJ Austin has said that he wants to change the narrative about PLWD’s,most of the challenges we might be facing is trying to get people to unlearn everything negative about persons with disabilities, and give them alternatives or better strategies on how best to live with PWD’s.
The president also disclosed the association’s plans to identify those with talents,encourage more people as well as solicit support for them from the government.
“I think he has succeeded in encouraging others to move forward, and I think it’s going to bring about enhanced self esteem and continue to mentor others.
“Our eyes would be on those systemic barriers that are standing in the way of moving forward for PWD’s like politics, the law has already taken care of,” she said.
Austin Apke, 23 years old, a blind 400 level Mass Communication student at the University of Ibadan, promised to mentor a lot of young minds that would want to be like him.
“First things first, I’d love to be able to give back to the society and the system that has projected me. I would mentor other people too who would love to do what I do.
“I want people to know that PWD’s can do what other people do or could even do better.
“I learnt to mix sounds when I was challenged by some one in school,who said I can’t do it, people should stop looking at our physical appearances and look within.”he said.
Mr Nick Bebiem, Founder of the Aid Talent Show Hunt, expressed satisfaction at the show’s success in identifying young minds like Austin who would take on the world and change people’s impression of the physically challenged (NAN)