By: Frank Kwame Abbor| ignewss| Ho
A non-profit and Non-Governmental Organization (NGO), Voice Ghana, has organized a workshop for media personnel and reporters in the Volta region.
The workshop, which was organised on January 13, 2023, aimed at taking participant through responsible reporting on issues of disabilities to reduce stigmatization of Persons with Disability (PWD)
Mr. Bright Agbagba, a member of Voice Ghana indicated that, the use of inappropriate language, limited understanding and misconception of disabilities and mental health, religion, culture, family support and lack of enforcement of existing laws on disabilities issues contribute largely to factors that influence stigmatization and discrimination against PWDs.
According to Mr. Agbagba, interventions have been made through educating the public on radio and awareness is being created through jingles and posters.
He also mentioned that ambassadorship was created and trained to effect positive attitudinal change towards persons with disability (PWDs)
Augustina Naami PhD, a Senior Lecturer & Head of Department in the Department of Social Work at the University of Ghana, highlighted the use of language and how to relate with persons with disabilities in the society.
She admonished that, certain terms used during some religious and social gatherings intimidate persons with disability and called on the general public to desist from their usage.
She noted that terms such as “let us come on the podium, those who can stand should please do so, can we all stand on our feet for prayers” among others are inappropriate and should be looked at.
She said, it will be appropriate to say, let us pray and let’s come in front of the podium instead of the former.
Augustina Naami PhD also discouraged the society to stop making assumptions of what PWDs cannot do but always see the positive of everyone regardless of their physical appearance..
“Don’t assume they always need help. Don’t speak to them through a third party and also use nice words on them in order to please them”. she stressed.
She further urged the society to see the person in PWD’s before their disabilities.