Giving Compass' Take:

• Nigerians with disabilities are not waiting for government action and assistance and instead are becoming activists for their causes. 

• How are you supporting individuals with disabilities in your community? How do you think you can assist individuals with disabilities in other countries? 

• Read about how U.S. states are helping people with disabilities break into government jobs. 

The World Report on Disability estimates that 16 percent of the world is living with a disability. That prevalence is higher in developing countries (18 percent) than wealthier countries (12 percent), where factors like poverty, poor healthcare, natural disasters, malnutrition, and conflicts increase the likelihood.

Determined to improve their lot, Nigerians with disabilities aren’t waiting for others to discover the difficulties they face. They’re demanding that their human rights be recognized, and perhaps more radically, they’re recasting themselves as powerful and capable members of society.

“I did face stigma because of cerebral palsy,” says Toiloba Ajayi, a lawyer and disability rights activist. “The question is, how many examples do you want?” For Ajayi, rude stares, curious questions, and judgments about her mental faculties are routine.

She remembers a pre-admission interview at a university where panelists assumed she was in the wrong place. “They said, ‘Really, I don’t think you’ll survive the semester.’ I remember looking [them] in the face and saying, ‘Watch me.’”

Five years later, Ajayi would graduate from that same university with a law degree.

Read the full article about the activism of Nigerians with disabilities by Shayera Dark at BRIGHT Magazine.