Persons with disabilities are calling to the society to embrace their diversity and be part of their growth rather than seeing them with the lenses of burden.
Speaking during a media training seminar organised Internews, Jane Theuri, an assistant county commissioner in the ministry of interior and coordination of government functions, said the community should desist from the behavior of pitying them too much.
‘’What we disregard as people with disabilities is when people look at us and start pitying us. We are not here to be pitied. Like for my story, where I am now, I have worked so hard for. So when I am out there I am equal to the task and I perform my duties as usual because I have an academic background. What distinguishes me from non-disable is that for me I need more time, accommodation for working area but at the end of the day we shall deliver.’’ Said Jane
Jane also challenged the media fraternity to be in the forefront of changing the people perception and also lead by example while interacting with persons with disability.
‘’As media, let’s be the change makers in society. With this training on disability reporting be cautious with the approach and terminologies you’re using and walk the talk going forward. Do not just do the story for cliques and publicity but let your story be recognised because you have captured all the concept in your story right’’
She added ‘’Its sometimes alarming and so shameful to see some elite journalist finds it difficult interacting and accommodating persons with disability in their life endeavors’’
Jane has also challenge journalist from approaching them with unplanned and unnecessary questions during the interviewing sessions
‘’ You find a journalist asking you things like, are you married? Do you have children? Is like people assume person with disability are asexual’’ warned Jane
The Able Different presenter at KBC, was among the keynote speakers who graced a 3-day media disability reporting training held in Nairobi.
Others were Jacky Lidubwi, Internews Project lead of Inclusive Media Project, Hon Isaac Mwaura, and NCPWD CEO Harun Hassan.
The training was attended with over 30 journalist from across the country representing media houses ranging from print, online, television and radio