The Executive Director of Inclusive Friends Association (IFA), Grace Jerry on Monday May 17, 2022 in Abuja presented a sample of accessible voting cubicles for persons with disabilities (PWDs) to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
She presented this new innovation during INEC consultative meeting with Organizations of Persons with Disabilities (OPDs) on how best INEC can include PWDs in all their programmes and create enabling environment for inclusive election.
The voting cubicles presented by Grace Jerry is of two different types, the first one has four different openings while two designated openings are meant for persons with physical disabilities such as wheelchair users and those on roller skate. There are platforms create in the level of their height in order to make it comfortable for them to use them while thumbprinting.
The second cubicle has two openings, one side designated for wheelchair users and roller skate users and the other side for persons without disabilities and others whose height is enough to use the platform.
After the presentations, she told INEC officials that the samples of the cubicles is for INEC to adopt and redesign the existing cubicles using the specification to enable persons with physical disabilities vote seamlessly in the next elections.
The INEC officials received the samples and promised to look at them and adopt the kind of cubicles that would be usable for all voters.
The meeting which the Chairman of INEC, Prof Mamodu was in attendance brought up several issues such as strengthening priority voting, improving data collection of voters of disabilities, and providing assistive devices to aid voting such as magnifying glasses for persons with albinism and braille ballot guide for the blind and election day instruction materials for the deaf among others.
The representative of OPDs in attendance are Dr. Chike Okogwu from CARE-Nigeria, Jake Epelle from The Albino Foundation (TAF), Grace Jerry from The Inclusive Friends Association IFA, Peace Ezekiel from CCD, JONAPWD National President, Abdullahi Adamu, Agbo Chris from The Qualitative Magazine, Gbenga Adeusi from Caring Heart (Disability Advocacy Radio Program at Armed Forces Radio) and Dr. Israel Balogun.