Help integrate people living with disabilities
EDITOR — I make reference to an article in yesterday’s Chronicle, titled: Further custody for crippled man “unable to function in prison”.
Persons with disabilities would like to raise their concern on the use of the word cripple to refer to a person with a disability in yesterday’s Chronicle. We expect journalists to promote the use of proper terminologies when referring to persons with disabilities.
The word cripple refers to a person or animal unable to use one or more limbs. We are shocked that at a time when Zimbabwe is working towards the domestication of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD), ratified by the Government of Zimbabwe in September 2013, we still have journalists who use offensive language when referring to a person with a disability.
Our own Zimbabwe constitution uses the term “person with a disability” and even in public speaking, people do not use the term cripple, but use a nationally and universally acceptable term — person with a disability.
This is the time when we expect our journalists to promote the integration of persons with disabilities by writing in a language that projects the human element in a person with a disability.
Imagine in present day Zimbabwe referring to a black person as a “kaffir”, an offensive term that was used during Rhodesia or referring to a black American as a “negro”, an offensive term that was used during the slave trade.
I call upon our journalists to be in the lead of encouraging communities to champion the integration and inclusion of persons with disabilities in all community programmes through effective use of their journalistic skills. Dr. Obadiah Thembani Moyo, president National Council of Disabled Persons of Zimbabwe (NCDPZ).Phone/Whatsapp: 0773064320 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Editor’s note: We apologise unreservedly for the use of the term “crippled man” in one of our headlines in yesterday’s edition of The Chronicle.
This newspaper does not discriminate against people living with disabilities and we wish to advise our readers that this will never be repeated.