KARACHI       -   The Institute of Business Administration (IBA) on Friday organized a panel discussion titled “Reporting on Disability: The Issues and the Role of Journalists.”

The panel discussion was organized by IBA’s Journalism Society in collaboration with NOWPDP at the IBA Karachi, City Campus, said a statement. The purpose of the discussion was to educate journalists about the issues faced by people with disability and the role that media should play in this regard. The panel discussion was attended by media students and working journalists.The panelists included former Assistant Editor Dawn, Zubeida Mustafa; former journalist, Ahmed Yusuf; Chief Operating Officer, Karachi Down’s Syndrome

Program, Samar Naqvi; Regional Manager Family Educational Services Foundation, Ali Noonari. Discussing about the stigma attached to the issue, Zubeida Mustafa said, “People with disability are severely stigmatized.

Many blind people do not carry a cane to assist in their movement because they feel embarrassed.”

Another panellist Ahmed Yusuf said, “Public transport does not cater to the needs of those who have some kind of disability. This and other systemic issues alienates many of them from an active

professional life, although they have the capability and the skills to work in various kinds of industries.”“The media industry needs to move beyond sensationalized inspirational stories of persons with disability. The focus should be on structural deficiencies. Many people with disability receive training only in vocational institutes and then have limited occupational opportunities.

Reforms are strongly needed at the level of educational institutes,

stressed Ms Naqvi. Highlighting the importance

of the role that media

should play in creating awareness about the topic, Ali Noonari added, “As the International Day for Disability

is approaching, media

has a role to play. The government now issues driving licenses to deaf people. But there is a need to train traffic police wardens