“We believe in making disability visible.”
Blogger Reese Dixon and her husband saw a video featuring a child with cerebral palsy (CP) riding a wheelchair in a skate park. So they took their son, Atticus, who happens to have CP, to a local skate park and strapped him into his chair tight. Atticus had a blast rolling up and down the hills and banked walls like the skater kids.
The trip provided the kind of thrill that’s sadly uncommon for kids with CP. “Atti has cerebral palsy and doesn’t talk much,” his mother wrote on Facebook. “This was his first day at the skate park and it broke him wide open.” On her blog’s Facebook page, Reese encouraged people to share the video because “we believe in making disability visible.” Having been shared more than 1.2 million times on Facebook, the video has done just that.
Why is visibility so important for children such as Atticus? Visibility for people with disabilities is crucial in order to make the rest of society better informed about the disabled and to improve their integration into mainstream society both socially and economically. In the United States, only 31 percent of people with disabilities have jobs. But as visibility increases, so do opportunities. Greater visibility also provides people with a stronger voice in politics and the media, a crucial development for a vulnerable population.
(H/T Reese Dixon)