Children's literature has made significant progress in representing disability, but there's still a long way to go. Lack of representation might perpetuate the idea that people with disabilities aren't part of society.
I'm happy to report that children's literature is now reshaping disability in a variety of ways. Books, audio, and videos provide children with the opportunity to gain a better understanding of disability from a positive perspective. This will help them to feel empathy and compassion for others.
This has been my primary focus in writing and creating "Leigh's Wheelie Adventures" series. Inspired by my late son, Leigh, who grew up using a wheelchair, each story deals with some problematic issues related to life in a wheelchair.
They convey positive messages about disability and inclusion in a fun and humorous manner.
I recently had the honour of being interviewed by the Australian Literacy Educators' Association about inclusion. The article is featured in the October edition of PLEPY (Practical Literacy: the Early and Primary Years) which is all about inclusivity, and why it matters. My interview is on pages 42 & 43 of the magazine.
I would be interested in hearing from other parents or authors about how inclusion is portrayed in children's books today.