Pacific Disability Forum

Inclusive Media Training

A landmark two-day event, organized by the Pacific Disability Forum in partnership with United Nations Resident Coordinators Office (UNRCO) and supported by the UN Disability Working Group, has been concluded successfully. This event brought together key stakeholders to advance disability inclusion in media for persons with disabilities, fostering a more inclusive Pacific region. The ultimate aim of the full day workshop was to enhance the skills of media personnel, content writers and stakeholders to ensure a more disability inclusive representation. The workshops covered a range of topics, including photography, videography, interviewing, and content creation, all with a focus on positively portraying persons with disabilities.

The event commenced with a captivating Gallery Walk, that featured compelling visual narratives that challenged stereotypes and celebrated the accomplishments of persons with disabilities. This immersive experience was designed to raise awareness about the significance of disability inclusive media representation.

Following the Gallery Walk, a Talanoa session was organised and provided a unique opportunity for an open and safe dialogue between persons with disabilities and media professionals. Persons with disabilities engaged in candid conversations, sharing their perspectives on what media inclusivity truly means and areas of improvement needed within the media sector. Participants were able to hear first-hand the struggles that persons with disabilities faced when it dealt with their representation in the media. These authentic interactions laid the foundation for mutual understanding and collaboration.

The second day of the event was dedicated to hands-on training aimed at providing Media professionals, content creators, and advocates a chance to understand disability from persons with disabilities. Further to this, the second half of the day was dedicated to the upskilling of participants in terms of the correct words to use when engaging persons with disabilities. The training focused primarily on the correct terminology, for example the need to do away with the use of the word such as “cripple” which is discriminatory instead of the use “persons with disabilities”. This was a critical step which needed to be taken for an improved relationship between PDF, the UN agencies as well as the media sector as Fiji had signed and ratified the UN Convention on the rights of persons with disabilities (UNCRPD) in 2017.

Ethical reporting is critical in sharing stories of persons with disabilities – their lived experiences and also emphasizing the crucial responsibility media professionals bear when covering disability-related stories and events. The workshops empowered attendees to actively advocate for and implement inclusive representation practices within their respective organizations.

This two-day event, organized by the Pacific Disability Forum in partnership with UNRCO and supported by the UN Disability Working Group, has set the stage for a more inclusive media landscape that values the experiences and voices of persons with disabilities. By breaking down barriers and fostering understanding, it seeks to drive positive change in Pacific societies.

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