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Media Involvement in Disability Inclusion

By Moureen Marilyn Ashaba

On 29th April 2022, Voice in Uganda grantee partner Hoima Union of Persons with Disabilities (HUDIP) gathered media houses in Hoima Oil City for a disability reporting training on how to report and interview people with disabilities. Specifically how to choose an appropriate place to do the interview, how to speak to the blind and deaf, hope based communications, disability etiquette, discipline for example not shouting at the people with disabilities because they cannot hear you, to carry a notebook for interviews for the people who are visually impaired– describe interview setting.  The reporters looked at clauses developed from Arizona state university developed on how to report disability and that when the journalist is unsure about the language to use – they should inquire from the expert who is the persons with disability on how they prefer to be called.

The trainings did not only focus on addressing the ethical issues on disability reporting, but also sought to cultivate interest among journalists to consistently highlight elements and concerns of persons with disabilities in the public discourse.

Some of the topics that were covered were; understanding disability Local and international policies on disability, disability reporting 101, language and terminology in disability reporting ,multimedia skills, tips for Interviewing PWDs, developing story angles for PWDs, using data to cover disability stories, leveraging  social media to report  disability issues, disability Etiquette and intrapersonal skills

Informally, the journalists created a WhatsApp group that would aid them in information sharing on disability reporting keep them connected to share knowledge and success stories on disability coverage.

The participants promised to reach out, build and cultivate interest among journalists and media houses to integrate disability issues in their reporting and programming share knowledge and information on disability issues amongst journalists and media practitioners, ensure professionalism in reporting on disability issues; they will further encourage continuous capacity development for journalists on disability and human rights issues in Hoima Oil City.

Hopefully in future, there will be accurate, comprehensive coverage of disability issues and increasing the participation of disabled people in the production of news and information can help alleviate stigma and discrimination, better amplify the voice of these people and as well as lead to better policies, bye laws, ordinances in the Hoima Oil City.

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