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

Scope's In the Picture campaign raises awareness of the need to include disabled children in the books they read. Check out our list of great books with disabled characters on Pinterest.

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