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How to talk about disability and persons with disabilities in your programs

As of 2011, between 60-80 million people in Africa were living with disabilities. Most live in poverty and are excluded from opportunities to work and study. Nonetheless, these individuals have opinions, experiences, and knowledge on a wide variety of subjects. To protect and promote their human rights, Africans with disabilities must be included in all aspects of society. 

Interviewing persons with disabilities or talking about disabilities can be difficult. This resource from Internews, called Disability Reporting in the Media provides training for African journalists about how to report on persons with disabilities and the issues they face in a more impactful way. The training can be taken within your station, or you can simply share this information with your fellow staff and volunteers. 

The topics covered in the guide include:

Read the full resource here: https://internews.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/Disability_Reporting_in_the_Media-2021_Manual.pdf [1] 

Terminology is very important when talking about disability. You can use this guide to help you choose the right words to use when talking to persons with disabilities, or talking about disabilities generally. 

Read the full terminology guide here: https://ncdj.org/style-guide/ [2] 

Photo: Sheij Aldine is a member of the center of the Sudanese Association for Disabled People in El Fasher. He works at the workshop, making crutches, wheelchairs and special shoes for disabled persons. He is also disabled and he is given a motorbike by the organization to facilitate his mobility. Credit: Albert Gonzalez Farran, UNAMID.