It is International Day of Persons with Disabilities on 3rd of December.
In the words of António Guterres, the current UN Secretary General:
“On this International Day, let us reaffirm our commitment to work together for a better world that is inclusive, equitable and sustainable for everyone, where the rights of people with disabilities are fully realised.”
The aim of this Day is not only to recognise people with disabilities but also to promote their well-being in all spheres of society. Join us this year and involve your child in the observance to teach them the importance of including everyone.
There are more than 750,000 thousand children in the UK with a disability. The spectrum of disability is a large one and includes both physical and psychological impairments.
In a world growing and changing every day, it’s essential to teach our young that differences in ability are natural and that it is important to be inclusive. Here are some tips you can use:
Leading by example
Given how observant children are in their formative years, they pick up on the behaviours and actions you display. To teach them inclusivity, you have to practice it too.
Teaching inclusive language
Just like teaching children to respect other’s pronouns, there is some language that can be insensitive to people with disability. The main one here is the use of person-first language.
What this means is that instead of referring to a person using their disability as an adjective, use person-first language. For example, instead of calling someone “autistic”, refer to them as “someone with autism”. This shows that their disability is just one part of the person, not their entire being.
Embracing the differences
When it comes to very apparent physical disabilities, there are going to be differences that a child will not only notice but ask questions about. It’s understandable why they do so.
Even though these differences exist, children with disability are like any other child. They want to play, have friends, and live their childhood freely. They may be limited when it comes to certain activities, but teach your child to use their similarities as the foundation of their friendships. For example, board games can be played for those who like quieter games or a musical game for louder fun.
Have a chat about bullying
Preconceived ideas about disability, misinformation and ignorance on the guardian’s part can lead to a child having aggressive attitudes towards disabilities. It’s a brutal reality that children with disabilities have a higher likelihood of being a target of bullying.
You can make a difference by having an honest conversation about bullying and how it impacts other people. Having this meaningful chat can help remove misconceptions and open their minds to making their spaces friendly for everyone, regardless of their disability.