Simply imparting knowledge and information about disability is not enough to teach children nowadays. Our world demands that we educate them on other fundamental values in order to work towards achieving a truly accessible and equal society.
Incorporating characters with disabilities into television series, films, toys or children's stories can be a good example of how to normalise disability from a young age. The stories that we have included deal with disability either directly as their central theme or simply by including characters whose disabilities are incidental.
Raising a child is a huge and challenging responsibility. When that child has a physical or intellectual disability the challenges can seem even greater. Children with disabilities may have special educational needs, or require specialist equipment or support. Parents or carers of these children may need additional practical and emotional support to help to cope with their child’s demands.
Getting to know families in similar situations can provide an important support network, enabling parents and carers to share help and advice and to lend an understanding ear when discussing the unique challenges of their situation.
Childhood games are synonymous with activity, development and preparation for adult life. They are a source of self-affirmation, motivation, satisfaction and social interaction. In the case of children with some sort of disability, all these benefits are multiplied, so that the game becomes an occupational area essential for their social, cognitive, sensory, prescriptive, affective and communicative development.
Play is a fundamental part of a child’s life. As well as being enjoyable, it is a necessary element of learning. In the case of children with disabilities, adapted toys are a particularly important resource that help to build self-esteem, fostering the development of the child’s capabilities.