Disabled call for their rights [Archives:2007/1079/Local News]

August 23 2007

SANA'A, Aug. 19 ) The way the media portrays disabled people has been criticized and as a result a committee of journalists has been set up to improve the image of the disabled and to increase public awareness of their desire to be an active part of society.

The criticism and the plea for change came in a workshop organized by Al-Aman Assocation for Blind Women. Fatima Al Akil, head of the Association explained that 70 per cent of her membership registered after they saw a programme on television or heard a programme on radio explaining the work the association was doing. It is an example of the good that can be achieved if the media helps to raise awareness.

Mohammed Homa`d, the chief of the national union for disabled associations explained that the media rarely plan to make special programs relating to disabled problems in Yemen. And when they they tend to draw a negative picture of the disabled. He pointed out that many of the disabled are graduates making a contribution to society and even if they are not graduates they are still willing to make a contribution.

“The disabled have their rights in society but the media never reflect such rights instead they talk about the importance of supporting them with charity,” he said.

The new committee that has been formed to improve the situation contains members from both the government and the independent media. Nour Ba Abad, the deputy assistant for the social care sector said that “it is important to work with the different media regardless of the media's direction or interests.”.