A different article today, in the spirit of summer holidays and reading books by the beach (or on the sofa as the case may be!)
When selecting your summer reading, you might want to consider The Amazing Edie Eckhart by Rosie Jones. It's a children's book but the message is important for all of us. As Rosie explains in a thought-provoking guest column for the i, she wanted to create a character with a disability (much like her own cerebral palsy), so that children with disabilities feel seen and represented. She also wanted children without disabilities to read it and realise - in her words - "just because a person is a little bit different, it doesn’t define who they are, and, that everybody has their own challenges they have to face every single day".
One in five people in the UK identify themselves as having a disability but representation of disability across the literary world, arts and media is sparse.
We strive for a diverse society, where disability is just part of the make-up of the population, but if our children's books don't feature characters with disabilities, we're fighting an uphill battle to ensure equality in adult life.
I expect the vast majority of those reading this article will work with people with disabilities, children or have a disability themselves. Personally, I would love all my clients who are children with disabilities to have a copy of this. I'll also be getting a copy myself for my summer staycation reading!
there wasn’t anybody in books and in the media who I could look up to and think: “If they can do it, I can do it!”