ADVISORY ON COMMUNICATING DISABILITY

January 21, 2010

The National Council on Disability Affairs (NCDA) enjoins everyone to observe proper communication about persons with disabilities and disability in all forms of media and communication. As embodied in the existing laws of the government pertaining to disability and of persons afflicted with it, such as Republic Act No. 7277 otherwise known as the Magna Carta for Disabled Persons and its amendatory law, Republic Act No. 9442, persons with disabilities are granted their rights and privileges in the areas of employment, education, health, auxiliary, social services, telecommunications, accessibility and political and civil rights. Under these statutes, it likewise accord them services for their rehabilitation self-development, self-reliance, and ultimately, their integration into the mainstream society.

On the macro level, the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in which the Philippines is a state party, recognizes amongst, “the importance of persons with disabilities of their individual autonomy and independence, including the freedom to make their own choices.” In a most sincere and modest way, persons with disabilities must be treated equally, must be respected and be given due courtesy as they have their own rights and inherent dignity, just like any other human beings. With all its noble intentions and wisdom to promote the integration of all persons with disabilities in the mainstream society, the NCDA appeals to every sector of this country to join its mission of upholding their inherent rights and freedom.

On the other front, however, the NCDA finds that some people consider using some forms of communication as a matter of personal privilege and whims. Due to this fact, NCDA believes that people involved in such kind of interactive communications should also be responsible enough so as not to put into bad light, or worst, to demean other people like those with disabilities.

Proper communication among and between persons with disabilities spur their social rehabilitation and development, more so their self-acceptance and that of the people around them. It lessens, if not totally eradicates, attitudinal biases and discriminatory practices towards them. Organizations of and for persons with disabilities located elsewhere and around the globe, have recommended various ways and guidelines to consider whenever we refer to persons with disabilities and disability in the production of any communication products. Somehow, we hope this advisory will guide everyone who is a stranger to the world of disability and of persons with disabilities. Should anyone wish to get more information on the matter, they can get in touch with the National Council on Disability Affairs through Telephone Nos. 951-5103; 932-6422; 951-6129; 952-2809 and 932-4342, or email thru council@ncda.gov.ph.

MATEO A. LEE, JR.
Officer-in-Charge

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