From April to July 2019 implemented the project “Media Portrayal: Mother of Children with Disabilities.“ Ekvalis organized workshop on media representation of people with disabilities, where we discussed the role of the media in promoting the rights of persons with disabilities. In particular, we talked about what media campaigns are and what their function is in raising public awareness of access to rights for people with disabilities and analyzed some of the existing campaigns. In the end, the students made their own messages that they wanted to send to the public regarding the inclusion of people with disabilities.
During the workshop, the students had the opportunity to talk about what inclusion is, what segregation and integration are as opposed to inclusive concepts. The students also shared examples of segregation or inclusion of students with disabilities through specific examples from their environment. Media campaigns were presented as a tool to advocate for the rights of persons with disabilities. Divided into groups, the students made media sketches of different types of events that they would like to see in their school that touch on topics of inclusiveness in physical classes, accessibility of the school building, swimming competitions for people with physical disabilities, as well as the most suitable media formats in which these posts would be effective to implement (websites, social networks or newspapers).
As part of the project, Ekvalis issued 4 promotional videos where we highlighted the life of 4 women- mothers of people with disabilities. As part of the campaign we interviewed:
- Irena Lozanova:Irena Lozana is a mother of Kan, a boy with autistic spectrum and atypical development. At the same time, Irena is also a fighter for the rights of people with disabilities, yoga and a Zumba instructor for children with disabilities. View a full interview on how Irena and her family view disability, her leaving the job, her decision to work with children with disabilities, and how her environment looks at her child, take a look at this interview. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JynR2Osxli8&t=96s
- Olivera Saveska: Olivera Saveska is the mother of Maria, a high school student living with a physical disability. In an interview with Olivera, we talked about her struggle with the institutions to provide physical access to her daughter to school, but also about her daughter’s unpredictable future. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AaqyIyezJbE&t=36s
- Nadjenka Tutorov Apostolovska: Nadjenka is a mother of Vera, a high school student with cerebral palsy. In an interview with Nadjenka, we talked about the missionary and activist side of mothers of people with disabilities, the daily challenges her daughter faces in adapting to physical space, but also the positive aspects that Nadjenka is proud of her daughter. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JU4THeHw4Go
- Suzana Kostoska: Do you remember Nina Kostoska, a young pharmacist from the UNICEF ad who shocked the Macedonian public about the treatment of people with Down Syndrome? We interviewed Suzana, Nina’s mother, who talks about Nina’s struggle, their struggles as a family to provide her with the education she wanted, but also the emotional aspects of what it means to be a mother who cares about the strange looks she receives by the strangers on the street. View full interview here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QZvmgJ-90qs&t=43s
The activities of the Media Presentation of Mothers of People with Disabilities project are supported through the grant program of the “Disability is a matter of perception” project implemented by the Institute for Diversity and Media in London in partnership with the Macedonian Institute for Media and the National Council disability organizations from Macedonia, with financial support from the European Union.