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THE Zambia National Association of persons with physical disabilities (ZNAPD) has called on the media to deepen their understanding on the subject of disability for them to report accurately.

ZNAPD Executive Director, Douglas Makusa says the media carries a heavy task to influence change and needs to be well informed on disability matters.

He was speaking during the consultative training meeting for news editors and media institutions trainers from selected institutions.

Mr Makusa observed that it is only a knowledgeable media that can bring out the truth on persons with disabilities.

He said the media is a powerful tool that can change the way society perceives persons with physical disabilities.

He explained that the media can change the negativity that people living with disabilities are associated with, once they gain in-depth understanding on the subject.

“The media is a critical stakeholder in information dissemination to the members of the public, it is therefore important to capacitate them on disability matters,” he said.

Mr Makusa explained that it is a pity that people perceive persons with disabilities as slow learners, slow thinkers, troublesome among other negative social ills.

He said the media makes society understand the needs and ambitions of persons with disabilities because they are known to be the carriers of truthful information.

And inclusive education consultant, Thomas Mtonga also called on the media training institutions to be accommodating students living with disabilities to promote inclusive learning.

Dr. Mtonga, who is also a part-time Lecturer at the University of Zambia, added that people living with disabilities also have potential to contribute to society and there is no need to deny them enrollment into media institutions.

Meanwhile, Evelyn Hone College Head of the Media Studies section, Mujinga Phiri observed that there is a need to start training upcoming journalists on disabilities matters.

Ms. Phiri said it will be of great help to inculcate the aspect of learning how to report accurately on disability subjects ethically in schools.


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