Legit.ng Teams Up With Shade of Life Foundation to Spread Awareness about Autism

Legit.ng Teams Up With Shade of Life Foundation to Spread Awareness about Autism

  • In April 2024, Legit.ng partnered with Shades of Life Foundation to spread awareness about autism in Nigeria;
  • The partnership aimed to call the media landscape in Nigeria to attention, and seek better representation for people on the autistic spectrum;
  • Joseph Omotajo, the Legit.ng’s journalist, took part in a panel session on the role of the media in helping society understand autism.

Autism Awareness Day, Shade of Life Foundation, Advocacy, NGO, Legit.ng, CSR
Legit.ng Partners with Shade of Life Foundation to Advocate Media Support for Autism
Source: Original

On the 6th of April, 2024, leading digital news platform Legit.ng partnered with the Shade of Life Foundation to amplify the voices of autism through the media and drive advocacy for improved media support of autism in Nigeria during Autism Awareness Month.

The NGO was born out of the need to provide care to families with children that have behavioural challenges, ASD (autistic spectrum disorder), as well as other learning and intellectual disabilities.

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In light of global research exploring the significant influence of media attitudes on Autism awareness and societal acceptance of individuals on the spectrum, alongside the personal experiences of the Shade of Life Foundation's founder, a deliberate choice was made. Utilising the 2024 Autism Awareness celebration, the foundation seeks to educate the media, prompting a critical reassessment of their approach to reporting and representation.

For Shade of Life Foundation, the celebration of Autism Awareness Day was implemented in the form of an awareness ride for Autism – #RideForAutism. After that, the foundation hosted a panel session at the popular Zone Tech Park, Gbagada to discuss the role of the media in spreading Autism Awareness.

Duly representing Legit.ng on this panel was the Head of Department, Human Interest Stories, Joseph Omotayo, and he spoke extensively on the importance of allyship between the media and foundations like Shade of Life. He said:

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“When the media supports autism awareness, the doors of representation open up. As the common source of information and public education, the media support of autism awareness can help the public become more sensitive and in tune with the positive language that should be used when addressing autism. This also increases public tolerance and understanding.”

He further stated that media support of Autism awareness would lead to a gradual erosion of stigmatisation that occurs from years of perpetuating harmful stereotypes and discrimination.

Speaking further to the need for better media involvement, Omotayo cited examples of how Legit.ng collaborates with NGOs to spread awareness about a condition by attending workshops and doing thorough research via interviews and desktop findings. He then charged key players in the media industry to support NGOs like Shades of Life Care Foundation, and their efforts in providing care for individuals with these conditions.

"To our media colleagues: support autism awareness by featuring experts like Dr. Eziafakaku, offering free columns, interviews, and ad airtime. Digital media can foster tolerance by including autistic individuals in interviews. Let's amplify voices beyond parents and experts."

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Dr Eziafakaku Nwokolo, Founder and CEO of Shades of Life Foundation, Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) and Qualified Behavior Analyst (QBA) thanked Legit.ng for partnering and amplifying the voices of Autism.

She reiterated the need for increased involvement and support, saying: “The media needs to be more involved in the learning and understanding of autism, its various spectrums, language boundaries and more. This can be done through curated workshops and knowledge sessions with the media, facilitated by autism experts.”

Speaking of the symbolism of Legit.ng’s role as a media partner, Legit.ng’s Editor-in-Chief, Rahaman Abiola, said, "We're honoured to have joined this significant celebration. Recognizing the media's pivotal role in sharing inclusive stories for change, we're dedicated to contributing to nation-building through storytelling. Grateful to the Shades of Life Foundation for this opportunity, we eagerly anticipate future collaborations."

In 2022, Legit.ng partnered with the Women at Risk Foundation (WARIF) to create awareness about gender-based violence and ease the reintegration of abuse survivors into society by donating funds for their medical care.

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Similarly in 2022 and 2023, the media leader once again embarked on campaigns to spread awareness about period poverty and funded the donation of innovative menstrual care kits to young school girls in Ajegunle.

As a fully-fledged digital media and socially responsible company, Legit.ng continues to maximise the full potential of technology to impact the lives of people through its diverse and numerous audience.

Source: Legit.ng

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