By: R. Joyclyn Wea
MONROVIA-As part of activities leading to the conduct of the 2023 elections, 33 civil society organizations have been subcontracted by the national elections commission to carry out civil and voter education across Liberia.
Key amongst these organizations include persons with disability (PWD) institution as a means of reaching out to the marginalized group across Liberia.
Barsee Leo Kpangbai is one of five commissioners at the elections governing house, who says, the decision to include PWD organizations in the Civil and Voter Education (CVE) activities is to enable the commission reach out and or cover every Liberian citizen of voting age.
According to Commissioner Kpangbai, the organization will in the coming days begin raising awareness around the requirement set by the NEC for individual of voting age to get registered to vote in the upcoming elections.
He made the disclosure at a PWD round-table meeting held at Monrovia Christian Fellowship organized by Internews Liberia as part of activities befitting the world persons with disability day.
The round-table was to talk about some of the issues confronting persons with disability, particularly PWD inclusion in every sector and finding a way forward.
Two years ago Internews started the inclusive media project to increase the quantity and quality of report on persons with disability not from the petty point but the positive and highlighting their impact in the society, that’s according to Lien Bach.
Under this initiative several journalists’ capacity were built to highlight the many positive contribution of PWD to national development across Liberia.
These journalists were also supported to increase media courage about the positive issues that persons with disability are involved with.
Alonso Dixson executive director for the national union organization for the disable wants a decentralized message on PWD not only in Monrovia, but other parts of the country.
He thanked Internews for the project that allows journalists to use their outlets to talk about issues PWDS are faced with thus stressing the need for more training for media in terms of using the right words when reporting PWDS’ issues.
He further pointed out the issue of inaccessibility of media institutions to person of disability and sign language interpretation for people with hearing impairment to get the message.
“We need the media institution to hire sign language interpreters so that people with hearing impairment can get along.” We have some people who have earned first degree also in mass communication, today they are looking for employment,” Dixon noted.
He added, “We need the media to checkmate government because there are several international instruments that the government had signed to as well as political party manifestos to see what is in it for PWD.”