Artists and creatives persons with disabilities have called on government and stakeholders in the arts and creative industry for inclusivity and opportunities to contribute their quota to nation building.
They made the call at a focus group discussion where 50 persons with disabilities participated in the forum on Tuesday in Abuja.
The Director, Potters Gallery Initiative, Mr Donald Unanka said the initiative was borne out of the need to give a sense of belonging to members of the disability community, “who are highly marginalised in the arts and creative industry.”
Unanka, who stressed the need for the full implementation of the Disability Act, called for policies and programmes for integration and market opportunities for members.
“We have talented youths who are willing to develop the arts and creative industry.
“At this point, full implementation of the disability act will further push our voices louder.
“People with disability have abilities and are willing to display this for the growth of the nations economy,” he said.
Two artists and creatives with disabilities, Miss Aver Akighir and Mr Musa Muazu decried the stigmatisation faced by members and expressed optimism that with constant engagement and programmes by all stakeholders, the situation would improve.
They said there would be more market opportunities in the creative industry.
They appealed to the media to help in the fight against stigmatisation, but to ensure fair and equal treatment, especially where they could deliver effectively.
The focus group discussion, which was organised by a disability art group, the Potters Gallery Initiative and supported by UNESCO Diversity of Cultural Expressions.
Also the International Fund for Cultural Diversity to galvanize support and create enabling environment for persons with disabilities to exhibit their potential and strive in the Arts and Creative Industry.