The month of September is Disability Awareness Month.
The Rights of People with Disabilities Unit in the DWCPD has just completed a global brainstorming exercise for UNICEF to develop a child-friendly definition of disability (targeting 10 year olds). This exercise goes to the heart of the new conceptualisation of disability as a social construct. This is how you could explain to your children what disability is!
All children are different, but this is what makes children so interesting. Some are tall, some are small, some are black, some are white, some have disabilities, and children speak all different kind of languages.
Children with disabilities are children like all other children, but they do things a bit differently.
A child who cannot see, for example read by using her fingers to read dotted letters called braille.
A child who cannot hear or speak, uses his hands to sign the words and sentences.
Some children move around with crutches, special shoes or wheelchairs, as it is difficult for them to walk and run. Some children take a bit longer to understand, but if we give them time and use simple language, they can learn and do things with other children.
If we remember that each one of us is different, we all will find different ways of playing together
So it is important for us to find playgrounds where wheelchairs can move around easily.
If we all learn to use our hands when we speak, we can all understand each other.
And if we explain to children who cannot see or understand what is happening around them and what the rules of our games are, they can also play with us.
Childline South Africa offers a counselling for Deaf and Mute Children who cannot call us on our Crisisline. Visit our page on our Online Counselling Service now for more information!!!