Laikipia and Nyeri-based journalists have been sensitized on disability mainstreaming in the media sector.
Speaking during the training at a Nanyuki hotel, Benard Kariuki, one of the trainers observed that media houses lacked knowhow on reporting stories of persons with disabilities (PWDs).
“When reporting stories about persons with disabilities, we have witnessed that the language used is demeaning. It’s important you adopt the appropriate language so as to enable PWDs to have better lives,” said Kariuki.
He pointed out that PWDs should be given a chance by the media to tell their stories aimed at enhancing inclusivity.
“The wearer of the shoe knows where it pinches and so, no one is allowed to tell their stories. They should be at the front row in making decisions that concern them,” he noted.
The trainer urged the media to not only report when need arises but also focus on positive stories in the community about Persons with Disabilities.
Kariuki further said that for realization of Vision 2030, there was need to ensure PWDs inclusivity and noted that women and girls with disabilities were the most disadvantaged.
“People should start now agitating for the rights of persons with disabilities and develop projects that will help them in the long run. We have to embrace a clarion call of leaving no one behind,” said Kariuki.
Sang’ida foundation director Stella Mutua said that the media should develop policies that are inclusive to PWDs and ensure access to information is made easy.
“If the challenges about PWDs are not addressed, the society we are living in will not be inclusive,” said Ms Mutua.
Sang’ida is an institution based in Nanyuki and advocates for the rights of persons with disabilities. They supported the media training on disability inclusion.
James Murimi, a Nyeri county-based journalist said that it was important for institutions offering journalism training to develop courses like sign language among others aimed at equipping budding scribes with knowledge on how to handle and report on issues about PWDs.
The trainers called on the government to strengthen the National Council of Persons with Disability (NCPWD) in executing its mandate.
The sensitization which also involved demonstration through projecting of short videos on how journalists could conduct interviews and extract useful information from PWDs, concluded by the scribes being challenged on what kind of the world they would wish to see.
By Muturi Mwangi