September 26, 2023

Use Disability Friendly Language Journalists Urged

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Fatima Karuweni

A call has been made for journalists to use disability friendly language when writing or broadcasting about disability issues.

The call was made by the National Association of Societies For The Care Of The Handicapped (NASCOH) and the ministry of Public Service, Labour and Social welfare at a training workshop for journalists and editors held in Harare recently.

The Director of disability affairs in the ministry of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare Dr Christine Peta said the aim of the training was to improve the terminology used by the media when reporting on disability issues.

“This training is aimed at raising awareness on the use of friendly language when reporting disability issues so that persons with disabilitities can continue to have access to credible information from time to time,” Peta said.

She said there is need to work towards recognising visible and invisible types of disability.

“We need to take note of the visible and invisible forms of disability when writing stories. This will help in dissemination of balanced perspectives towards issues of disability,” she said.

Disability ambassador at the African Union Disability Council, Nyasha Nhau said there is need to promote articles and videos that support the work being done by persons with disabilities.

“There is need for more success stories on disability and not charity cases, to promote positive vibesforpersonswithdisabilities.”

NASCOH director, Joyce Matara said different organisations have been formed to fight for an inclusive approach towards disability. She cited SightSavers which was formed in 1950 to fight for a world where people with disabilities can participate equally.

Dr Peta applauded the second republic for giving support to different initiatives that have been changing lives for the better. She said people with disabilities are part and parcel of our communities and there is need to give them a voice just like any other individual.


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