My intention with this blog is simply to promote the cause of children with disabilities, to attract more public attention to the issues disabled children are confronted with, with the aim of mustering more extensive and committed public support for creating a world more responsive to the needs and rights of children with disabilities.
Disabled children are recognised by the United Nations as the world’s most exposed and vulnerable group. They are denied even their most basic rights and are deprived of opportunities and freedoms children without disabilities take for granted. Sometimes referred to as the “hidden children”, they live on the sidelines of society, severely marginalised, stigmatised and discriminated against. They are at greater risk than other children to be neglected, abused and exploitated.
Public education and awareness raising is crucial for fostering respect for the rights and dignity of children with disabilities, which in turn results in public support and actions to protect and promote the rights of this highly deprived group of people.
As a South African I am writing from the perspective of the developing world where the vast majority of children with disabilities are also poor and therefore the victims of compounded marginalisation.
As someone with profound post-lingual hearing loss, I am a person with a disability myself and my occupation is in the field of children with disabilities for a national disability NGO in South Africa, The National Council of and for Persons with Disabilities (NCPD). Two trailblazing projects of the NCPD are Casual Day and Nappy Run.
The terms “children with disabilities” and “disabled children” are used interchangeably in this blog, although the person-first language of the former is preferred as a more affirmative term.