Protecting the Rights of Nigerians with DeafBlindness
Driven by his own experiences with DeafBlindness, Solomon Olakunle Okelola advocates for the rights of people with disabilities to be fully included in society and to lead meaningful and productive lives. He is the executive director of the Lionheart Ability Leaders International Foundation (LALIF), a nonprofit in Nigeria. In this role, he has helped organize awareness campaigns to educate Nigerians about his type of disability. He notes that people who are DeafBlind can face even more challenges communicating than those who are Deaf or blind. Okelola himself felt isolated growing up. “Whenever there were more than two people around me, I found I was mostly on my own, with my own thoughts,” he says. *Video includes audio descriptions for blind and low-vision audiences.
Oluwabukolami Omolara Badmus is a 33-year-old disability rights activist and feminist based in Lagos, Nigeria. She is both the financial secretary and Lagos state coordinator for the Lionheart Ability Leaders International Foundation (LALIF). Badmus is also an educator, teaching at a government/public high school.
Since 2019, part of LALIF’s major organizational focus has been on people with Usher syndrome, a genetic condition that can lead to DeafBlindness. After realizing how little Nigerian citizens know about Usher syndrome and those who live with it, Badmus is now actively involved in educating people, from government officials to educators, about this condition.
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