TAF AFRICA TRAINS PRIVATE SECTOR EMPLOYERS ON ACCESSIBILITY AUDIT

TAF AFRICA TRAINS PRIVATE SECTOR EMPLOYERS ON ACCESSIBILITY AUDIT As part of our commitment to improving the lives of persons with disabilities, TAF Africa held a two-day employers' disability confidence training for Facility and Human Resource Managers in private sector organizations. The training, funded by Sightsavers, aimed to build the capacity of participants to conduct accessibility audits within their organizations and promote disability inclusion. Representatives from various private sector organizations, including the Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines, and Agriculture (NACCIMA), Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA), Studio 24, Petrus Hotel, and Ave Maria University, were in attendance. The training covered various aspects of disability inclusion in the workplace. Mr. David Okoroafor, Economic Empowerment Program Officer of Sightsavers, emphasized the importance of disability inclusion in the private sector. He highlighted the significant population of persons with disabilities in Nigeria, stating that 15% of the population falls under this category. Companies that fail to consider accessibility, he argued, risk isolating a substantial portion of potential customers and employees. Mr. Okoroafor also pointed out the legal requirement for disability inclusion. The Discrimination against Persons with Disabilities (Prohibition) Act, 2018 mandated a five-year transition period for employers to implement inclusive practices and modify buildings to be accessible. This deadline ended in January 2024. With support from Sightsavers, TAF Africa hopes to empower partners by giving them the direction and technical skills they need to move toward social inclusion. The training sessions focused on equipping participants with the tools to assess and improve accessibility within their organizations. Facility managers were trained on using the International Labour Organization (ILO) accessibility document to evaluate their facilities' accessibility for staff, stakeholders, customers, and board members with disabilities. The document provides a checklist that serves as a self-audit tool.   Sightsavers offered additional support by proposing to connect participants with persons with disabilities who could serve as consultants for accessibility audits at no cost. Human Resource Managers also participated in sessions focused on ensuring their human resource policies are inclusive of persons with disabilities. Mr. George Anwayi, the Assistant Programme Manager of TAF Africa, delivered a session detailing ways to promote a disability-inclusive workplace culture. TAF Africa's initiative highlights the growing emphasis on disability inclusion in Nigeria. TAF Africa and Sightsavers are working towards a future where persons with disabilities have greater access to employment and equal opportunities, by equipping private sector employers with the knowledge and resources to create a more inclusive environment for persons with disabilities.  

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