Journalists urged to be cautious when reporting on disability

11 Jun 2016 11:50am
TSUMKWE, 11 JUN (NAMPA) - The Deputy Minister of Disability Affairs on Friday called on journalists not to offend people with disabilities in their reporting.
Alexia Manombe-Ncube in a speech delivered on her behalf during the commemoration of National Disability Day at Tsumkwe on Friday accused Namibian journalists of using offensive wording in their reporting about people with disabilities.
“Firstly, we are people with disabilities, not people living with disabilities,” she said.
Manombe-Ncube also said terms such as ‘disabled people’ and the word ‘dumb’ should be avoided and instead they should be referred to as people with hearing or visual impairments.
The deputy minister further said it is offensive to say someone is wheelchair bound and reporters should rather refer to someone as using a wheelchair.
“I am encouraging every media personality to learn how to use the correct words when referring to people with disabilities. Don't assume you know, make sure you say and write it correctly,” said Manombe-Ncube.
She said people with disabilities need positive media coverage instead of coverage which is offensive.
Manombe-Ncube noted that there are 9 841 people with disabilities in Namibia.
This year’s National Disability Day was commemorated under the theme ‘A minute in my footsteps’ and was organised by the National Disability Council of Namibia.
Approximately 800 people across the country attended the event in Tsumkwe, situated about 274 kilometres east of Grootfontein in the Otjozondjupa Region.