its so important to have disabled presence in children’s media, disabled kids grow up with really harmful messages about being burdens, ugly and unwanted and that needs to be challenged, we need to be showing disabled kids that they’re valued and amazing
like I remember a few years ago here in the UK, there was a disabled woman, Cerrie Burnell, who’s right arm ends a little past her elbow, who did some presenting on kids tv and parents wrote in and complained about her and said she was scary for children and shouldn’t be there because she was disabled
children are seen as being needed to be sheltered from the ~terrifying~ and ~horrifying~ reality of disabled people and that really hurts disabled kids and also massively contributes to adults hating and fearing disabled people since that’s what they were taught to do as kids
whether it’s disabled presenters or disabled characters, children’s media has to do more to acknowledge and celebrate disabled people
This is so important. We are unlikely to go through life without a single member of our family or a single friend being disabled. Disability is not uncommon. Disabled presence in media in general helps disabled children, helps children who will become disabled in early adulthood, helps children who have disabled classmates and friends, helps children whose parents are or may become disabled, helps parents who will have disabled children, helps teachers who will have disabled students etc etc on and on.
When I became disabled at age 20 the one school friend who stayed in touch, who didn’t ghost, had a mother with MS. I am 90% sure that’s what made the difference between her and the friends who just didn’t know how to deal with me.
15 percent of the world population are people with disabilities. That’s one in every seven people on the face of the Earth, a total of one billion people. If disabled people were our own country then we would be the third most populous country in the world, behind only China and India.
And yes, some conditions are age related, so the older you are the higher the odds of eventually becoming disabled.
BUT. Even among children aged 0 to 14, about five percent of the world’s population of children have disabilities. That’s one in every 20, still not that small a number.
The media does not even BEGIN to reflect the real portion of disabled people in the population.
Disability is a NORMAL PART of the human condition!