The lives of all children will be enriched by disabled children being 'in the picture' – it will help build understanding for all children and adults. These guiding principles are based upon the social model of disability.

  • Books should be created with all children in mind, for all children to share and enjoy.
  • The point is not that disabled children should be the prime focus of stories or pictures: simply they should be there, a natural feature of every child’s landscape.
  • Images of disability should be the norm, in the same way as images of different ethnicities are now the norm.
  • Images of disabled children should be used casually or incidentally, so that disabled children are portrayed playing and doing things alongside their non-disabled peers.
  • Disabled children should be portrayed as ordinary – and as complex – as other children, not one-dimensional.
  • Disabled children are equals and should be portrayed as equals – giving as well as receiving.
  • Disabled children should not be portrayed as objects of curiosity, sensationalised or endowed with superhuman attributes.
  • Stories should not have 'happy ever after' plots that make the child’s attitude the problem.
  • It is society’s barriers that can keep disabled children from living full lives.
  • We should always remember that disabled children are children first and like all children have hopes and aspirations just like their peers.

Some of these statements have been adapted from The 1 in 8 Group, formed after the Invisible Children Conference.

Children's storybooks

Check out our list of storybooks with disabled characters.

This link will open in a new window.