Media sensitised on reporting on Persons with Disabilities

DPI, Guyana, Monday, October 22, 2018

The National Commission on Disability will hold a workshop this Saturday for media personnel on what they need to know to communicate on issues involving persons with disabilities.

The one-day summit on October 27 will be hosted at the Herdmanston Lodge from 9:30 am to 13:30 pm. Knowledge shared at this summit is expected to equip journalists with the relevant information needed for reports and stories that address persons with disabilities. Also, this session will prepare journalists with the necessary foreknowledge for accurate and sensitive reporting.

According to the Communications Officer of the Commission, Avonel Corrica, “The objective of the summit intends to make media operatives aware of basic disability etiquette. As we know, often times we will see in the newspaper that journalists will describe persons with disabilities, for example as ‘wheelchair-bound’ individuals. No one is really bound to a wheelchair, they are simply using the wheelchair as a means of mobility.”

Corrica also highlighted that one desired outcome of the summit includes ensuring media personnel are aware of their responsibility as outlined in the Persons with Disabilities Act of 2010.

“In particular, sub-part eight (of this Act) speaks about communication and what is required of the media when it comes to communication with or talking about persons with disabilities.”

Personnel from all media platforms including print, television and radio are invited to participate in this event. The National Commission on Disability has collaborated with the Guyana Press Association to make this event possible.

Interested media personnel are asked to contact the commission on or before October 24 to confirm their attendance. Contact numbers for the commission are 225-0980 or 226-4566. The commission is located at 49 Croal Street, Stabroek Georgetown.

Minister of Public Health, Volda Lawrence and Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo are expected to attend.

Corrica explained that this initiative to engage the media is part of a series of activities to achieve goals set out in their 2015 – 2019 strategic plan. Part of this plan focuses on advocacy for persons with disabilities. The hosting of the summit is one way of the commission achieving its many objectives.

By: Delicia Haynes

Images: Anil Seelall