Yesterday morning (19th April), I attended a seminar on 'Disability and media' which was organised by the Disability Rights Coordinator of CBM, Dr. Duro Onota who is partially-sighted.
Quite a handful of the media/ press women and men came. I think that they were mostly from tv. And of course, some members from the disability community were present.
We all know the very influential role that media (be it tv, radio, newspapers,social media) play in shaping the perception of the public. When I say 'very influential', I mean exactly that. It does seem that some presswomen/men are making efforts to present Persons With Disabilities with a positive image rather than as objects of pity.
It was encouraging to see that they paid attention and participated in the group discussions. During the group discussions, we covered unacceptable terms or phrases used to describe PWD like ' deaf and dumb/mute, cripple/lame, invalid, handicapped, spastic, mentally retarded, deformed, polio victim, afflicted (by), suffering (from), mongol'. The list is inexhaustive.
We also talked about issues for media campaign like inclusive education, inclusive development, passing the Disability Bill into law and for the Nigerian film Industry aka Nollywood (to cast PWDs and for criptwriters to include PWDs in their scripts)s