Teddy bears with disabilities

Did you know that even teddy bears can have disabilities?…

Teaching children about difference and the inclusion of others is such an important aspect of fighting disabalism. So I was thrilled to see this child’s teddy bear in a wheelchair from Rackety’s.

Teddy in a wheelchair - children's toys - image - inspiremagazineuk.wordpress.com

Plus, after a little more Googling, I also came across this wheelchair from Build-a-Bear Workshop. Brilliant!

Teddy bear wheelchair - children's toys - image - inspiremagazneuk.wordpress.com

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May 9, 2011. Tags: , , , , , , , , . Inspiration. 3 comments.

Jono Lancaster is back on our screens in So What If My Baby Is Born Like Me?

Following on from the documentary Love Me, Love My Face featuring Jono LancasterSo What If My Baby Is Born Like Me? is the latest offering from the BBC, and looks at the dilemma parents with hereditary disabilities face when deciding whether to have children.

So What If My Child Looks Like Me- Jono Lancaster - image - inspiremagazineuk.wordpress.com

Jono Lancaster, 26, was born with Treacher Collins syndrome, a disability that has a 50% chance of being passed on to his children. Having faced hardship as a child, Jono and long-term girlfriend Laura, are unsure of whether to risk passing this disability, and its inherent problems, on to their child.

Trying to decide the right path, the programme sees the couple visit other families having faced this decision, as well as children with Treacher Collins syndrome and adults who have coped through adolescence living with the disability, and are happily out the other side!

Watch on BBC 3 tonight (19th April) at 9pm to learn a little more about this tough decision that so many face.

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April 19, 2011. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , . Entertainment. 13 comments.

The Secret Millionaire helps an inspiring disability support centre

In the first of a new series of The Secret Millionaire, travel website entrepreneur Chris Brown is moved to help Talbot House, a centre offering support to parents of children with disabilities. In case you haven’t seen The Secret Millionaire before, the show involves a millionaire, funnily enough, going undercover in deprived areas looking for people and organisations that would benefit from their financial help. After shadowing Bernadette Wood, General Manager of Talbot House, her enthusiasm and good work encourages Chris to give a helping hand in the form of £25,000.

Talbot House - The Secret Millionaire - image - inspiremagazineuk.wordpress.com

Having come to Talbot House herself when her son was born with Down’s syndrome, Bernadette knows how vital support is when learning to accept a disability. Talking about her son Jeffrey she enthuses; “He is my life, he’s my every waking moment, and my every sleep, I absolutely adore him, I learn from him, I love him. He’s bought joy, laughter, kindness, he’s bought all the good qualities of a person into our home… do I get down, yeh, do the down days come, yeh, do I blame God, yeh, do I swear, and I don’t normally swear, but I swear on those days. But it’s through him that I’m this person who I am today… and now I like to show people that there is a way through, there’s life after disability, it is not the end of the world.” There are a lot of people out there that I hope read this and take heed of the heartfelt sentiment.

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October 20, 2010. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , . Entertainment. Leave a comment.

A book about the joy of having a child with profound disabilities

The subject of disabilities can be a no-go area for many, something to pity, a state so sad and desperate, largely misunderstood and feared. Rarely do people focus on the joy and happiness that those with disabilities can bring. But Rebecca Elliott has hit the nail on the head with a beautifully written piece in The Independant about her five-year-old daughter Clemmie who has severe mental and physical disabilities.

Children's book Just Because - Rebecca Elliot - image - inspiremagazineuk.wordpress.com

Instead of focusing on the difficulties disabilities can bring, she “absolutely loves being the parent of a disabled child. Since having Clemmie I’ve been let in on a little-known secret: profoundly disabled people are awesome.”

A sentiment that I couldn’t agree with more if I tried! My late brother Andrew was the embodiment of this idea, his sunny disposition overshadowed any of the difficulties he faced. There was something incredibly special and infectious about his uplifting spirit.

This is a largely alien concept to many, where the focus in life is so heavily pinned on achieving and actions. But as Rebecca states “profoundly disabled [people] can change your life and whole world view not through achievement, not by doing, but just by being. From the perspective of her Clemmie proves to me that you don’t have to do anything, to achieve anything, indeed to walk, or talk or dance or sing in order to be utterly perfect, enchanting and loved.”

People need to accept disabilities instead of separating them and placing them into a dissatisfied box. “We enjoy Clemmie for who she is, rather than mourn the loss of who she might have been, and I can honestly say we wouldn’t have her any other way. She is perfect. She’s our fabulous, funny, curly-haired little girl who does nothing and is perfect just because of her uniqueness”

With this message in mind, Rebecca has created a children’s book staring Clemmie named Just Because. Written from the perspective of Clemmie’s little brother Toby, Rebecca hopes that “by writing an entirely positive picture book which will perhaps have some effect on opening up the secret, wonderful world of the profoundly disabled to a bigger audience, I also wanted to nurture that unprejudiced acceptance present in all children.”

Read the full article in The Independant, and buy her book, Just Because, from Independentbooksdirect.co.uk.

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September 9, 2010. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Inspiration. 9 comments.

Caitlin’s Wish – helping children cope with disability

Caitlin's Wish - children's book - image - inspiremagazineuk.wordpress.com

Caitlin’s Wish is the story of a young girl whose life is turned upside-down when her father suddenly becomes disabled. Initially saddened by the change her family has to face, Caitlin is visited by Rufus the Robin who helps her to deal with her emotions and focus on what her father can do, rather than dwell on what his disability means he can’t.

Written by Victoria Taylor, the story was inspired by her own experiences as her 2-year-old daughter struggled to deal with the effects of her dad being diagnosed with a rare brain condition, Intracranial Hypertension (IH). Victoria’s hope is that this book will help other children learn to accept disabilities and cope with change.

Not only will this book assist children emotionally, but 25% of the royalties will be going to Crossroads Care and the IH research Foundation as well.

Caitlin’s Wish has been entered into the Wake Up Celebrity Author competition and you can vote for it on their website.

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July 30, 2010. Tags: , , , , , , , . Inspiration. 3 comments.

Inspiring disability imagery for children

As part of Scope charity’s Time to Get Equal campaign, they have collated a range of inspiring illustrations which put children with disabilities ‘in the picture’.

Disabled children - image - inspiremagazineuk.wordpress.comThe images include works by Quentin Blake (illustrator for Roald Dahl) and Jacqueline Wilson (author of a series of children’s books). Jacqueline muses; “I think it’s very important to include disabled children in books in an ordinary, everyday kind of way. I feel that they should be simply part of the story, as characters in their own right – funny, friendly, feisty downright naughty, whatever!”

Take a look by visiting www.childreninthepicture.org.uk.

March 1, 2010. Tags: , , , , , . Inspiration. Leave a comment.