This is another type of mobility – moving people. Mobility Aid and Appliances Research and Development Centre (MAARDEC) is a registered non-profit organization established in April 1991 by Mr. Cosmas I. B. Okoli, a Nigerian with disability. Over the years, it has worked to mobilize people.
On 30th January 1992, MAARDEC was officially commissioned by the then president and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, General Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida.
Since inception, the centre has transformed millions of lives of people with disabilities and has successfully developed and produced various types of mobility aids and appliances such as the award winning Cosokoli-Hand-Control-Mobilizer (for people with lower limb paralysis to drive with hands only), wheelchairs, crutches, leg braces, walking frames, equipment for the blind and other hospital equipment such as trolleys, couches etc.
The centre also provides physiotherapy services and free guidance and counseling services for people with disabilities and their family members; carries out mass enlightenment programmes to educate the general public on the proper attitude towards persons with disabilities, plight and prospects of people with disabilities thus, fostering a conducive environment for people with disabilities to maximize their abilities.
Assistance in job creation and placement for people with disabilities, training of persons with disabilities in small scale production of mobility aids and appliances, initiate charities and programmes aimed at, among others, to provide indigent persons with disabilities the right mobility aids and appliances free of charge, discourage street begging and build their self esteem. MAARDEC also pays attention to promotion of sports for persons with disabilities.