Putting ALL Children In the Picture

Monday, March 19, 2007.

In The Picture logoMark speaks with Susan Clow, president of In The Picture, an organization devoted to “Putting disabled children In The Picture“, about disablism, the organization’s 10 guiding principles and the benefits and challenges of creating books which can be enjoyed by all children.

Author Joyce Dunbar, a volunteer with the In The Picture organization, has provided her thoughts on the importance of the organization:

Joyce Dunbar:

“So many children’s books are about unconditional love: GUESS HOW MUCH I LOVE YOU is the best known example. But what about the children who need that reassurance more than most – but are simply not there, not visible, not even in the picture? This initiative is to make sure that they are there – not necessarily as the star of the show – but incidentally, as part of the human tapestry. Twenty years ago ethnic minorities were similarly disregarded. That is unthinkable now.”

“I’m deaf myself and so is my son, so this is of particular concern to me. In 1985 I wrote a novel called MUNDO AND THE WEATHER CHILD. about the imaginary companion of a deaf child. It was runner up for the Guardian award but is long out of print. More recently I produced MOONBIRD , a picture book with Jane Ray.”

“I would like to offer some quotes from the letters I have received from deaf children:”

“Because this is my first time I have read a fairly tale about a hero who is deaf, I am thrilled to bits. I don’t feel left out. It sounds like we are equally important.” Catherine Grimley.

“We are deaf and we only know of two books with deaf heroes. It would be nice to have lots of books.” Nadeem Islam

“When I read a book with a deaf hero, I feel important as other people.” Pierre Francis.

5 Comments »

Comment by Jules

March 21, 2007 @ 1:06 pm

I had no idea Joyce Dunbar was deaf. I currently have Shoe Baby from the library (and am a fan of Polly’s work — her daughter, that is), and I just had no idea. I used to work with deaf children (and have worked as a sign language interpreter as well); the work of In The Picture sounds great.

Thanks!

Comment by Nicole Taylor Abera

April 25, 2007 @ 11:31 pm

Thank you for doing this show. I’m a special education teacher in Washington, DC and I’m always looking for books and other literature that include people with disabilities to share with my students. I will definitely use some of the books discussed during the show in my classroom. Until recently many of the books including children with disabilities that my students have been exposed to have only shown “disability” or “special needs” using characters in wheel chairs. None of my students can relate to this kind of disability. In fact, most of my students have learning disabilities that are not easily recognizable to the eye. This doesn’t make them any less worth including in literature however. I agree fully with your guest today. Images of children with all sorts of disabilities should be the norm in books because children with disabilities are an important part of our world. All children, regardless of their disability, should be able to see positive images of people like them in books, media and other literature.

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March 21, 2008 @ 6:47 am

[...] Interview with Susan Clow about In The Picture [...]

Comment by Jason Low

September 9, 2008 @ 5:03 pm

Fantastic interview. I was thoroughly engrossed. We currently have several books featuring main characters with disabilities with more on the way. Since our publishing mission is to publish books about everyone and for everyone, this focus is strengthened by including characters with disabilities. Thanks for interview it was inspiring.

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March 2, 2009 @ 10:14 am

[...] Putting ALL Children In The Picture: interview with Susan Clow of “In The Picture” [...]

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