Media corps familiarised with disability etiquette

– National Commission on Disability hosts media summit

DPI, Guyana, October 27, 2018

The Persons with Disabilities community joined with the National Commission on Disability to host a media summit on October 27, to familiarise media personnel with disability etiquette.

This included the basic forms of interacting with persons with disabilities, how to communicate with the Deaf and hearing-impaired, communicating with blind and visually-impaired, describing disabled persons along with what words to use and what words to avoid.

Outlining the dos and don’t’s was, person with a disability, Simone Poole, who underscored the importance of the media be continually engaged in applying the correct terms and phrases when interacting with and addressing persons with disabilities.

Legal Advisor to Prime Minister, Moses Nagamootoo Tamara Khan, addressed the media operatives who were attending the training on his behalf.  Khan said the media has a significant responsibility as part of the commission’s objective of strategic and effective advocacy.

Khan explained that “This can to be one of the most effective ways to advocate for the rights of persons with disabilities. Training provided by the National Commission on Disability can equip and empower media personnel and wider society with the tools needed for a better engagement.”

She added that this process is likely to facilitate a more sensitive manner for reporting and storytelling from the media’s perspective.

“Media reach, in particular, as is the focus today, would aid in dispelling myths and reveal that persons with disabilities have feelings, needs and problems like any other person. There are persons who were born with their disabilities, and there are others who acquired disabilities by accidents, violence, or the simple business of living (and ageing).” She said.

The Commission’s chairperson, Evelyn Hamilton said that the hosting of such an event is part of the commission’s advocacy for stricter enforcement of the Guyana Persons with Disabilities Act of 2010.

She indicated that this way of reaching out to the media is intended to foster closer relations that will help to “change the image of persons living with disabilities in Guyana.”

Delicia Haynes

Images: Jules Gibson; Tamara Khan’s photo provided by Delano Williams


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