From Sola Ojo
Nigerian journalists and their respective media houses have been urged to avoid the use of derogatory terms while discussing issues that affect Persons with Disabilities (PWD).
Programme Manager, The All-rights Foundation (TAF) Africa, Mr. Olayemi Samuel appalled when he led his organisation’s team to the Kaduna State Secretariat of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) to seek partnership on inclusive Kaduna for all perspectives of their physical and mental abilities.
According to him, TAF Africa is currently working on a project developed to strengthen institutions on governance and the rule of law for disability inclusion at the Grassroots with the expected support from relevant stakeholders at the state level.
To him, it is important for journalists and media houses who are at the forefront of information gathering, processing, and dissemination to be in tune with acceptable global terms when they discuss or write about PWD.
“We have been engaging other critical stakeholders on inclusiveness in the Kaduna environment so the people who have over the years felt excluded can also play their roles in the nation building.
“We want to see a shift from the ways media project issues that affect PWD, especially in terms of using the right terms to describe the category of disability in discourse. This is very important so that the affected persons including those at the grassroots can be carried along in all facets of national development.
“We are also suggesting that if not already happening, a desk should be created for PWD colleagues in the Union as a deliberate plan to include them right from within”, he added.
Responding, the Chairman of the Council in Kaduna State, Hajiya Asma’u Yawo Halilu restated the commitment of the Union to always amplifying issues of PWD.
She also admitted the need to scale up colleague’s capacity in the area of the right terminologies while handling issues around PWD as suggested by TAF Africa.
“I want to agree with you that some of us use terms that are no longer acceptable when we are discussing or writing issues that affect PWD though we have been supportive when it comes to their issues. So, we are open to global updates in terms of right terminology
“In most of our engagement with the PWD, we go to them and not they coming to us. We will continue to be supportive to them and we will do the needful to take their courses to the right quarters and hopefully, we will have inclusive Kaduna State.
“We have our colleague who is blind as an elected Auditor in this Council who has been employed as a Lecturer in the Kaduna State University. We will see how we can collaborate in some of our meetings to see how we can be on the same page in the area of terminologies from next year by the grace of God”, she said.