Centre for Citizens with Disabilities (CCD) has accused the media of delaying the passage and assent to the Discrimination Against Persons with Disabilities Prohibition Act, 2019.
Mr David Anyaele, the Executive Director of the group, said this on Monday in Abuja at the flag-off of a week-long activity to commemorate the first year anniversary of the passage of the National Disability Law.
The forum entitled: “The way forward; Interactive forum with media executives particularly for the implementation of the National Disability Act”, was organised by the centre.
Anyaele said that minimal support and poor knowledge by the media on the right terminologies for reportage, hindered the smooth transmission of the bill among many other issues.
He said that when the law was still a bill, there were only a few media organisations that showed support during the struggle for passage of the bill because they understood what it was about.
“However, the few media that got on-board to support movement of the bill, had poor understanding on disability issues and poor knowledge of the right terminology to use in their reportage.
“Many media referred to us as vulnerable of which we are not. Those who are vulnerable in the society are those who go about in convoys blowing sirens and oppressing others.
“Some even called us crippled and handicapped and those were very offensive ways of describing Persons with Disability (PWDs) and that is what the bill is coming to correct,” he said.
Anyaele, however, said that with the existence of the law, it was now imperative to educate and inform media executives on the contents of the disability act and its applicability.
He said that CCD was set to engage everyone to ensure that the law would be smoothly and successfully implemented and not further delayed.
“The public will not be left out as we are introducing road shows and road walks to sensitise Nigerians.
“We are also going to meet with all necessary stakeholders, line ministries, departments and agencies ans National Assembly committees on disability matters, among others,” he said.
Anyaele pleaded with the media not to relent in supporting PWDs by promoting disability issues, inclusion and participation.
News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that the Discrimination Against Persons with Disability Prohibition Act, 2019 was passed by the 8th session of the National Assembly and assented to by President Muhammadu Buhari on Jan. 19, 2019.
The Centre for Citizens with Disabilities is a premier organisation for Persons with Disabilities that works to promote disability rights, independent living, inclusion and participation of PWDs in development agenda.