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New MN campaign around children with special needs

(643 Posts)
RowanMumsnet (MNHQ) Thu 31-Jan-13 09:17:22

Hello

Following on from this, um, lively thread from a couple of weeks back, we wanted to follow up on kungfupannda's excellent suggestion of an MNHQ-backed awareness-raising campaign aimed at - in kungfupannda's words - 'making it absolutely, uncompromisingly clear that in order to fully include children with severe disabilities, people might have to accept a bit of disruption once in a while.'

We were thinking about something along the lines of our We Believe You campaign on rape myths; that is to say, an ongoing awareness-raising project aimed at the general public, rather than a short-term campaign with specific policy requests attached. We would be thinking about pages on Mumsnet itself featuring the experiences of our posters, activity on our Bloggers Network, ye olde Twitter hashtagge, and any press coverage we can grab.

The suggestion on the thread was for the campaign to be called 'Tolerance is...', but we at MNHQ are a little unsure about the word 'tolerance' (which can suggest barely-contained irritation, rather than the kind of empathetic understanding and generosity of spirit we'd all like to see). So we were wondering whether something along the lines of 'This is my child' would work better?

Please feel free to use this thread to give us any feedback and ideas, and generally let us know what you think.

Thanks
MNHQ

elliejjtiny Thu 31-Jan-13 16:52:19

Oh good. I have DS2 who has Ehlers Danlos Syndrome and is a part time wheelchair user. He is 4 and is already noticing that he gets different treatment when he is in his wheelchair.

zzzzz Thu 31-Jan-13 16:56:51

Are we writing an IEP for the nation?

So perhaps an NEP???

Should we be asking "is it SMART?". grin

The invisible/visible disability and levels of "seriousness" is a bit of a nonsense for me. I have 2 children with sn. Who looks weird isn't relevant.

If you we're asking me what defines us as a group I would say "ask us what worries us most about dying". Visible/invisible physical or is not the issue IMO

I also wouln't use the word understanding. You don't have to understand someone to treat them equally and behave normally towards them. Hell, I don't understand my DS half the time.

MmeLindor Thu 31-Jan-13 17:08:15

The only thing to think of - #thisisme is going to throw up lots of other tweets - when you use the hashtag on Twitter, you are aiming to collate all the tweets on that subject.

So, eg. MNHQ tweets something about the campaign and uses the hashtag #thisisme - what turns up? Lots of unrelated tweets.

If we have something more unique, it works better. #thisismychild for instance doesn't throw up any other tweets.

EllenJaneisstillnotmyname Thu 31-Jan-13 17:20:05

This is my life?

threesocksmorgan Thu 31-Jan-13 17:25:53

dottyspotty2 so agree. I have always felt that we should all stick together, whatever sn.

WilsonFrickett Thu 31-Jan-13 17:26:29

I think it could use being a little harder-edged to be honest. Been thinking about it today I keep going back to 'we're here, we're queer, get used to it'. (not as in that's what we should use, but that's the tone I think we should be aiming for). I don't want acceptance or toleration for my DS. I want full blooded equality. I want his issues and support to be utterly boring. Because they don't need a second thought.

Liked heyho's suggestions.

What about 'whatever' as a tag line?

skratta Thu 31-Jan-13 17:27:01

Could we have something like Human, as in, we're all human. Or Live My Life?

Or In My Shoes, as in walk a mile in my shoes. So, My name is Ella, I have .... I love singing, dancing and listening to music, especially to Justin Bieber, but everyday I face teasing, humiliation, exclusion, bullying and isolation.Walk a mile in my shoes.

Probably a bad suggestion, sorry if it is. Mile In My Shoes might work better though.

skratta Thu 31-Jan-13 17:28:05

That was using DD3 btw as an example, but it could work for others too?

threesocksmorgan Thu 31-Jan-13 17:28:19

mile in my shoes. Like that
as long as no mention of " walk" wink

Ilisten2theradio Thu 31-Jan-13 17:32:32

I like bothe Scratta's and heyho's ideas.
I hate "tolerance" it is soooo wrong. Everyone wants so much more than that!

skratta Thu 31-Jan-13 17:41:22

Good point threesocks. My dbro would be particularly annoyed about that! Dd3 has no whhelchair, but other less visible difficulties, and they both have and will face so much hatred and disablist comments and actions, it's scary that someone can look at my dd and think 'retard' or my brother and think 'weirdo'. How can anyone connect a beautiful little girl, or my amazing brother, and think that?

skratta Thu 31-Jan-13 17:42:30

Hmm, how about live a mile in my shoes instead then?

zzzzz Thu 31-Jan-13 17:43:41

I used to sing " this little dsname of mine I'm go an let him shine", a bastardised version of happy clappy "this little light of mine".

What about "let us shine".

Personally I don't like lists of humanising characteristics and photo of child.
I prefer things like there are x% people with sn in the population, so if there aren't x% in your church, at your pool, in your cinema, in your office, in your child's class, at your party, you are part of the problem. We are the x% and we are here to stay.

MmeLindor Thu 31-Jan-13 17:46:50

Zzzzz
TheInvisible

That is good - how many of you have been tutted at for taking your family to a cafe. I like the thought of getting in the faces of those who are ignoring you.

theDudes when I suggested 'understanding' I meant as in 'to treat someone with understanding' but you're right, that's not quite what's needed either.

MrsDeVere Thu 31-Jan-13 17:58:39

'Inclusion - Not Just a Word'.

Something I often mutter in my day to day life.

This will be a sensitive and complicated campaign to get right. But I think it is worth it. I am very happy to see a well-known, mainstream parenting site take it on.

zzzzz Thu 31-Jan-13 18:07:29

Sn is not a very exclusive club, anyone can join any time, any place. Race crede gender class anyone at all.....come and have a look at the "facilities" in case you join us one day.

I know a lot of people see someone using a wheelchair and they only look at the chair. Or they see a child with disabilities and only speak to their parent. Or they only see the disability - so a child with Downs syndrome becomes 'that Downs kid'.

So how about something like "Look at me" or "See me" or even "Look into my eyes"?

HeyHoHereWeGo Thu 31-Jan-13 18:10:19

zzz I like the stats approach too.
I suppose I'm thinking that people always want a name -"Whats wrong with her?" "Whats wrong with her legs" "Why does she look funny" and sometimes, if in a genuine conversation, I can have a full conversation with diagnosis, history, name of condition;
but sometimes if its just a random teenager asking, some person passing in the street, well I just want to say "whatever, its just the way she is" "thats just the way she was born" with a shrug that says Get over it.
I kind of like the This is me, so what? tone, and thats what I was trying to capture with my (fake) description of "Steve" that does not name his disability.

If 1 in 52 boys have Autism, and you add the stats for other disabililties, well, the chances of having a child with a disability are actually pretty high, at least, higher than I think the majority of TTC realise.

Then add those who become disabled during the course of their lives. We're not talking insignificant numbers. Do we want these children and adults as part of our society, and contributing to it (I don't mean purely financially btw)? or not?

skratta Thu 31-Jan-13 18:26:44

I like Look Into My Eyes

The reason I think naming the disability is a good idea, is because the disability is part of them. My dd is made up of many things, one part is her disability, just like another is her wonderful personality, the colour of her hair, whatever. I don't want my dd to be talked about as if she was NT as such. The disability is part of her. That's all there is. She's a human being, has a wonderful personality, from my view, though sadly not to disablists, she's my beautiful young daughter. I want them to talk about HER, what she likes. What she loves, what she suffers because of ignorance or disablism, and I feel that not naming her disability is like dismissing it.

She needs equality, she needs people to think and not dismiss her or tease or bully her, and she needs people excepting that when you make friends or talk to my dd, she has a disability. I want them not to care, but I also want them to understand that when you choose to be friends with dd, then that friendship and attempt at understanding includes ALL of her.

I agree with the This is me, so what? Approach, but I want people to realise that the 'me' (or rather, her) includes her disability. As in, I have a disability, who cares?

skratta Thu 31-Jan-13 18:31:52

Yes, stats like that are important. The one in four suffering at some point, I think, with mental health issues brought home to me how important it is to recognise and talk about MH issues for instance. Bringing home the reality, that % of society are being bullied, isolated and discriminated against, because of the way they were born, developed or because of something later in life- something beyond their control, that might affect someone? As in, do you think we should discriminate against % of society because they aren't the same?

KeepOnKeepingOn1 Thu 31-Jan-13 18:31:54

I suggest 'Diversity is ...'

Can be simply completed - 'cool' or not - 'an evolutionary biological imperative' etc

Links to the dance group - maybe they would be willing to endorse a campaign celebrating difference (ooh Ashley Banjo blush)

Can be ended with 'Diversity is me'

Links to the struggles of other oppressed groups

thereonthestair Thu 31-Jan-13 18:34:59

I think this is me is too soft. Personally I think something to point out just how's "normal" disability is. Almost like "nothing special" rather than something special to show that it's not that unusual and then the stats. I do like live a mile in my shoes though, or even live a minute in my shoes... Which in ds case happen to have Afos in them!

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