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Proper Terminology Is Critical For People With Disabilities

By Desire Tshuma

Deaf women included on Thursday held a media workshop in Harare to educate media practitioners about proper terminology to use when reporting on disability issues .

”We are very happy to engage the media so that we educate them about our concerns , some articles we read ,listen or view in the news don’t go well with us in terms of the terminology used to describe us” said Agness Chindimba .

Some terms demean us as people with disabilities she added.

”We are not persons living with disabilities but we are people with disabilities, some people in our communities call us using offensive terms like ”chirema / isilima”.

There are a lot of other demeaning words that people should desist from using to us and journalists have a role to play when reporting on issues that deals with disabilities so that people know what we feel its not proper when calling us” elaborates Agness who is the Executive Director for Deaf Women Included organization.

A lot of people with disabilities in the past were stigmatized in other communities but this is now a thing of the past as the government have taken disability issues seriously and other organizations that represents people with disabilities have been advocating for their rights.

In schools , the government introduced lnclusive learning whereby students with special needs go to same schools with the rest of eligible students . Education institutions have also been training special teachers to teach students with special needs .

Samantha Sibanda one of the specialists in disability issues also took the opportunity to do a presentation on the challenges faced by the disabled.

“People with disabilities faces a lot of challenges even those who are in marriages, some face partner violence, forced widow inheritance and other serious verbal abuse. Disability is God’s creation, the society should sympathize with people living with disabilities and live with them with love, peace and harmony” said Samantha.