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People living with disabilities are not only economically marginalized and politically excluded but also lack the voice to make effective demand for inclusion and accountability on matters that affect them. In many states, such people have no access to educational institutions, no appropriate policies to address their needs and concerns at schools and in places of work and they face outright discrimination in matters of admission to high education and in places of employment. Although they have been associations, most of the associations by people with disabilities have taken the form of seeking for economic support rather than address the systemic constrains that make them to remain economically marginalized and generally excluded from political processes. At the national level, advocacy has resulted in the establishment of the National Commission for Disabilities. However, at state levels, there are hardly policy responses to their plight. Educational institutions lack policies to ensure that campuses are conducive for people living with disabilities. In its effort to support associations of people living with disabilities to project their voice and demand for accountability and inclusion as well as help them to sustain that voice, Centre for Information Technology and Development (CITAD) has on Saturday, 27th August, 2022 conducted a one-day Training Workshop on Digital Skills and use of Social Media for Advocacy and Accountability for People with Vision Impairment in Kano. The workshop was organized for the Visually Impaired Educational Forum of Special education School Tudun Maliki, Kano (VIEFSESMT) aimed to catalyze a voice for the demand for inclusion and accountability of people living with disabilities Kano State.In his welcome remark, Sagiru Ado Abubakar who coordinates the activities of PWDs in CITAD said that the training workshop was part of ‘Disabilities, ICTs and the Quest for Inclusive Development’ forum held on June this year at CITAD Annex, Women Development Centre, Court Road, Kano to discuss challenges that people living with Disabilities face in accessing and using ICTs. He informed the participants that CITAD wants see PWDs discussions on social media on issues that touch their lives and advocate for inclusion and accountability in governance issues. He added that during such engagement with PWDs there will be weekly interactive radio programs to create and support voice of PWDs demanding for accountability and inclusion.CITAD Communication and Campaign Officer, Malam Ali Sabo represented the Centre Executive Director at the event. Sabo said that the training is one of CITAD’s initiatives aimed at addressing the exclusion of people with special needs on access to digital skills and the use of social media for advocacy. He stated that the training will support the physically challenged in the society and prepare them to be independent and self-reliant and demand accountability from the leaders to seek alternative means through social media. He finally encouraged the participants to make use of technology as powerful tool for public opinion that they could compel leaders to be accountable.The first presentation talked about the concept of accountability, it explained that accountability as about using power responsibly. It involves taking account of the needs, concerns, capacities and disposition of affected parties, and explaining the meaning of, and reasons for, actions and decisions. Therefore, it also about the right to be heard and the duty to respond, based on the following five dimensions: Transparency, Participation, Learning and Evaluation, Staff Competencies and Attitude, Complaint and Response Mechanism (CRM).Buhari Abba Rano made the second presentation on the use of social media platforms for advocacy and accountability. He explained social media platforms as interactive digitally-mediated technologies that facilitate the creation or sharing/exchange of information, ideas, career interests, and other forms of expression via virtual communities and networks. When using social media, Rano said that make sure you can answer questions like:Why am I using this platform?Who will I reach on this platform?What post types work best on this platform?How are my posts unique to this platform?If you have a hard time answering these questions, it might be time to dig deeper into why you’re investing time there. Answering these questions will also help you develop your strategy for that platform.The last presentation was on Content Development by Ali Sabo. He explained that Social Media Content plays a crucial role in achieving social media objectives such as brand recognition, thought leadership, audience engagement, and lead generation. He added that, he content allows you to cement your position as a go-to destination for your target audience, whether it is for mobilization, advocacy, entertainment, education, or inspiration. According to Malam Ali effective Social Media content will help you to build long term relationships with your audience.

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