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CODO Intensifies Clamour For Better Air Travel Experience For PWDs

 

The Coalition Of Disability Organizations (CODO) has intensified its campaign for the removal of barriers against people living with disabilities across airports in Nigeria.

The group while presenting a research finding in Enugu during a sensitization workshop for airline operators in the state noted persons with disabilities experience myriad of challenges in using airports in the country.

Speaking during the workshop yesterday, the convener of CODO, David O Anyanele, who was represented by Florence Austin, Admin/Finance Manager Centre for Citizens with Disabilities (CDD), tasked airport personnel to work towards ensuring that the stipulations and guidelines in the National Disability Act is observed at the airport in the state.

He urged them to review the attitude of airport personnel towards persons with disabilities and to measure the compliance of airport facilities in line with the National Disability Act.

Some of the challenges according to the research finding which was presented by Aver Alighir, Executive Director, Hope Alive for Possibilities Initiative (HAPI), include difficulty in getting on the aircraft; difficulty in climbing the stairs into the airport building due to lack of/non- functioning elevators and ramps; communication barrier and absence of sign language communication.

Others are absence of a disability desk at the airport; poor direction in the airport for PWDs; denied boarding; discrimination/lack of care by other travellers; having to walk a long distance to board the aircraft; having to be carried physically which is embarrassing; absence of dedicated seat for PWDs; and lack of assistance by airport and airline staff amongst others.

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Among the several recommendations made by the coalition for a better travel experience for persons with disabilities are: provision of travel information, assistance at airports, training for staff of airlines.

Other recommendations include enlightenment about implementation of the National Disability Law, general public enlightenment and upgrade of airport facilities in line with sections 4 and 5 of the Discrimination against Persons with Disabilities (Prohibition) Act, 2018 amongst others.

The workshop was attended by representatives of airlines operating in Enugu State, security agencies and a host of disabilities organizations.

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