Disability Rights Advocacy Centre(DRAC) has urged Nigerian media not to portray Persons With Disabilities(PWDs) as object of charity and pity.
The Executive Director, DRAC, Dr. Irene Patrick- Ogbogu stated this during a day training of journalists and media influencers in Abuja on Tuesday.
Dr Irene stressed that PWDs have Rights hence should be given equal representation in the media.
She disclosed that DRAC is committed to supporting PWDs with innovative strategies.
“We’re asking the media to improve on the way they portray persons with disabilities in their reportage. To also actively tried to dispel the myths and stereotypes, those negative myths and stereotypes about persons with disabilities, the way they are portrayed negatively as objects of charity as recipients of goodwill or not as rights holders, persons with disabilities everywhere they are have rights like every other person, and it is the job of the media to let society know that these are rights holders and to ensure that discrimination and exclusion of persons with disabilities comes to an end.
“This can only happen if the media is properly and appropriately representing persons with disabilities. So when persons with disabilities read things in the media, the media should portray it, as gratifying not to keep portraying them as pitiful characters, objects of pity objects of sympathy so that’s basically what we’re saying.
“What we are discussing at this meeting today is part of our efforts of continuously engaging with the media so that the media know that their role is a very important role in society, particularly when it comes to influencing the way society views a particular group of people in this case, persons with disabilities. So basically, that’s the message”, she said.
Speaking on the efforts of the Organization to improving the lives of PWDs said, “Most of our work revolves around doing things innovatively either using innovative strategies or bringing in innovative technology that can aid the lives of persons with disabilities.
“Recently, we’ve been engaging with the Ministry of Science and Technology to ensure that persons with disabilities have right the type of access they need to assistive technology so that they can because one of our main messages as an organization is independent living for persons with disabilities.
“So when they have the right access to assistive technology, they can live innovatively. We’re also using, you know, innovative means or innovative strategies to do all the work that we do, whether it is in terms of disability inclusion or access to health care, you know, we work with all kinds of all the wide range of service providers to ensure that they’re providing services to persons with disabilities and for them to effectively do this. We have to introduce innovative strategies to them”, she stated.
The event hosted media practitioners, influencers, primarily on the need to improve media reportage of PWDs in Nigeria.
Disability Rights Advocacy Center (DRAC) is a Non-Governmental, Not-for-Profit Organization that works to protect the Human Rights of Persons with Disabilities.