This week I got my Parents magazine in the mail, and was delighted to see the adorable Emily Keichler on the cover. Emily is 3 years-old and has spina bifida, like Ian does. When I showed Ian the cover, he immediately pointed to her walker, then said "Ian" and pointed to himself! He identified with her! It was a pretty cool moment.
|Ian checking out Emily on the cover of Parents|
According to an interview with Parents editor Dana Points that I read on another special needs blog I follow, this is the first time a child with a visible disability has appeared on the cover of a national parenting magazine. What's even better about it is that Emily isn't on the cover because there's an article about spina bifida - she's just on the cover because she's adorable! She's a real kid, just like any other - disability or no. It would be awesome if other magazines and advertisers would jump on the Parents bandwagon and show more people with diverse abilities on their pages. Doing so could go a long way in furthering social acceptance of people with disabilities.
While I'm on the subject of social acceptance, I'd like to mention the International Day of Acceptance on January 20th. This day of spreading knowledge, love, and acceptance of people with disabilities was started by a great company called 3E Love. Last year was our first year participating, and we had a great day filled with lots of love and support for Ian and our family! This year we will be wearing our 3E t-shirts, pins, and bracelets to show support and raise awareness! I can't tell you how many people have come up to me and asked me what the symbol means when they've seen it on my shirt or car. I'm so happy to be able to spread the message, and I hope many others out there will join us as well!
Last, but not least, I wanted to share a very moving video that I watched this morning via Love That Max. It's about a high school teacher who does a lesson each year on what it's like to care for his 12 year-old son who has special needs. I think that whether you have a special needs child in your life or not, this video is worth a watch.