Date Posted: July 16th, 2012
Farm Radio Weekly published the following stories which touch on the issue of persons with disabilities:
Congo-Brazzaville: Growing cassava is not just for the sighted (FRW 135, November 2010) http://weekly.farmradio.org/2010/11/15/congo-brazzaville-growing-cassava-is-not-just-for-the-sighted-spore-syfia-international/
Niger: Woman with disability proves her productivity through gardening (FRW #36, September 2008)
The same issue of FRW highlighted a resource called Key principles for the disability conscious journalist. See:
There are many international statements and declarations which validate the human rights of persons with disabilities. For example, the United Nations’ 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights Article 25(1) states: “Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control.”
The UN has designated December 3 as the annual International Day of Persons with Disabilities. See the website of UN Enable for more on the UN’s work with persons with disabilities: http://www.un.org/disabilities/default.asp?id=17
Farm Radio International’s broadcasting partner agreement form states that, to be a partner, a station must oppose and not condone using radio to promote or spread hate or intolerance based on “ethnicity, race, language, gender, religion, political affiliation, disability, or other general characteristic or attribute.” http://farmradio.org/english/partners/corner/join_e.doc
Disabilities can be an emotionally charged issue, and there may be strong and differing opinions. If you want to do programming on this issue, one option is to start by giving a general overview of the conditions in which disabled people live. You could also invite a knowledgeable person from government or an NGO who advocates for the rights of disabled people to the studio. Be sure that you and your guests use appropriate language when discussing this topic.
Does your national or regional government have policies on the rights and the treatment of disabled people? If so, ask government spokespeople whether these policies are being honoured. If not, what are the barriers and how can they be overcome? What are the traditional beliefs in your region about people – including children – with disabilities?