Nuanua O Le Alofa (N.O.L.A), the national advocacy organization of and for persons with disabilities with the support of the Journalists Association of Samoa is hosting a workshop for media representatives on disability reporting.
The aim of the workshop is to:
• Build a rights based approach to portraying people with disabilities and minimize negative stereotypes in the media
• Raise awareness on the rights of people with disabilities
• Increase the quantity and quality of media reporting on disability rights
The workshop will provide draft guidelines, which cover language, interview techniques and a brief overview of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (C.R.P.D).
The government of Samoa is currently preparing for C.R.P.D ratification, a process which will legally bind Samoa to implement the C.R.P.D. C.R.P.D ratification will provide long term benefits for people with disabilities, who constitute approximately two percent of the population in Samoa.
The media will play a crucial role in removing some barriers in daily lives of persons with disabilities and encouraging the full participation of Samoans with a disability.
Mataafa Faatino Masunu Utumapu, Office Manager of N.O.LA said: “Words have a great power to hurt as well as to heal. Used over and over again, a negative label becomes a definition. This workshop will shift media representation of people with disabilities from a charity based approach to a rights based approach.”