April 23-29 is Disability Book Week! Disability Book Week invites everyone to read books that feature a main character with a disability.
According to the Cooperative Children’s Book Center’s 2019 study, only 3.4% of children’s books have disabled main characters. Compare this statistic with the CDC’s finding that 26% of Americans have disabilities, and it’s easy to see why this representation is so important.
As a parent or teacher of elementary school-aged children, this week is the perfect time to begin or continue talking to your kids about disability. Not sure how? Here are 5 things to teach your kids about disability.
ALL children (and grown-ups, too) can benefit from books with disabled characters.
They help us understand disabilities from a different perspective.
Books that feature characters with disabilities help increase empathy and understanding among children. By reading about characters who may face different challenges in their lives, children can learn to see the world from someone else's perspective and learn about how everybody is different.
Normalizing and celebrating disability can help to reduce stigma and promote inclusivity.
For kids who have disabilities, seeing disabled characters in books can help them gain confidence and feel like they belong. It teaches kids that everybody is different and that they are not alone.
The best, most inclusive books to read with your kids feature:
Disabled main characters
Accurate portrayals of disability
No magical "cures" or "healing”
Positive disability representation (not the bad guys)