Nigeria: Foundation Advocates Diversity, Inclusion for All Persons

31 July 2020

The Chairman, Aleph Education and Empowerment Foundation, Nigeria, Mr Dare Daniel, has called on Nigerian government to create enabling environment for persons with learning disabilities across the country, adding that the goal behind the establishment of Aleph is to complement government's effort on this.

Speaking during a media launch of Aleph at a recent webinar, while also announcing the organisation's upcoming maiden online seminar themed, "Impact of COVID-19 on Persons Living With Disabilities" coming up 4th of August, 2020, Daniel said only a society built on diversity and inclusion can guarantee an enabling environment and an enriched life for children and young adults with learning disabilities in Nigeria irrespective of class, religion, sex or age.

Also speaking at the webinar on the organisation which was jointly established by six notable international specialists in special need education and care, including Daniel and himself, Air Vice Marshal, Felix Olufemi Gbadebo, OFR, Executive Director, Benola Cerebral Palsy Initiative, said: "Aleph, a non-profit, which was conceived shortly after the 2015 International Conference on Disabilities in Lagos, was initiated by Prof Paul Ajuwon in collaboration with the International Association for the Scientific Study of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (IASSIDD) headquartered in Toronto, Canada.

"Aleph was established with the aim of empowering educationally and building the capacity of persons with learning difficulty, as well as improving the standard of special education teachers through the provision of qualitative training.

"Among the six co-Founders and Directors are Mr Daniel the Chairman; myself; Mrs. Delphine Misan Arenyekan, Executive Director, Startrite Mayton and Company Nigeria Ltd; Mrs. Dotun Akande, Founder, Patrick Speech and Languages Centre; Mrs. Peju Namme of Pitanga (SEND) Resource and Learning Centre, Angola, Lagos & UK; and Mrs. Bemigho Elijah of Bemigho Obeitan & Co. Nigeria."

Speaking at the webinar, Akande, one of the aforementioned Directors of the organisation, revealed that Aleph, in partnership with Beacon College, the first accredited institution to award degrees exclusively to students with learning disabilities in the US, and with the University of Lagos, "is pioneering appropriate further education to train young adults in higher education.

Namme, on her part, said Aleph would also embark on an innovative training programme for adults (parents, teachers, carers) who support persons with learning disabilities, including associated cohort disability groups.

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