The Executive Director, Disability Rights Advocacy Centre (DRAC), Mrs Irene Ogbogu has expressed the need for the media to promote the rights of Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) saying that the rights of disabilities are human rights that should be given due consideration.
Ogbodu made the call during a training for the media on sexual and reproductive health (SRHR) and rights of persons with disabilities (PWDs) on Wednesday in Abuja.
A report on disability released in 2011 identifies that 15 per cent of the global population consisted of PWDs and 15 per cent of the country population consists of PWDs.
Ogbodu said the aim of the training was to create a media that would be more disability friendly and a media that would stop the society from calling people with disabilities derogatory names.
“Disability is an umbrella term that covers three key factors consisting of impairments, activity limitations and participation restrictions.
“Impairments is a problem in body function, activity limitation is a difficulty encountered by a person in executing a tasks and participation restriction is a problem experienced by a person in getting involved in life situations.
“Disability is the interaction between features of a person’s body (impairments) and features of the society in which he or she lives which is a barrier, ” she said
“Disability is a development issue because it is strongly linked to poverty, it is about inequality and it is a disadvantage that limits people’s access to basic services.
Ogbodu added that impediments plus barriers which could be attitudinal, environmental or institutional could lead to disability.
She said traffic accident, domestic accident, poor healthcare services, war or conflict and old age were the major causes of disabilities in the country.
Ogbodu said PWDs were recently faced with discrimination, denial of opportunities, and abuse of rights in the country, the situation she said needed to be corrected.
She stressed that there was a disability act in Nigeria that protects the rights of PWDsand hence should be adhered to.
She, however, urged the media to portray PWDs in a positive way especially in the use of language in referring to PWDs.
“Attitudes are the most disabling barriers of all, give more empowering image to PWDs.
“Language has a big role to play in creating attitudinal barriers for PWDs. Do not call people by their impairments, they are persons, use positive language when referring to PWDs,” She said.