This Is My Child supporters
We've received amazing support for our This Is My Child campaign from specialist charities, politicians, the general public, and - most importantly - parents of children with additional needs.
Here's what others have said so far about This Is My Child:
"I'm really honoured to be involved in this initiative of Mumsnet. When people don't understand the challenges our children face on an hourly basis, our children's lives are made needlessly tougher than they already are. Let's work out how to explain to the uninformed what's going on. Let's find a few extra grams of patience to put people straight. On the whole, people mean well and want to understand. Where the narrative about disability is wrong, let's correct it. Let's work to fling lazy language and false received wisdom into the skip of wrongheaded ideas. Let's use social media to embarrass public figures who think it's sophisticated to use the word 'autistic' as a synonym for 'recalcitrant' or 'isolated' or 'uncommunicative'. If they don't apologise, and mean it, let's mortify them. Disability is as personal and domestic as your skin and your kitchen, but it's also political. Politicians, and the people who advise them, take Mumsnet seriously. Let's mobilize. Let's bust some of these toxic myths."
The MP for South Swindon said:
"As a parent of child with hidden disabilities I am absolutely delighted to support #ThisIsMyChild campaign. LIke many other parents of children with disabilities, my family and I have been at the receiving end of insensitive and ill-informed comments from members of the public. These have either been directed at us or made in such a way that they are overheard by us, either intentionally or unintentionally. No one has ever stepped in and offered to help us if they saw us struggling with our child, yet some people are happy to stand on the side and pass judgement on both our child and our parenting skills. Unless you have cared for a disabled child, you will never know how this makes you feel and how hurtful and discouraging these experiences can be. I wish the campaign well, you have my full support."
Mencap is the leading voice of learning disability. It aims to value and support people with a learning disability, and their families and carers. Jan Tregelles, chief executive, said:
"Mencap is aware of many parents of children and young people with a learning disability who are too often confronted with attitudes grounded in ignorance, prejudice and hostility. They’ve been hurt and angered by unwanted attention from people in the street staring at their children, by accusations that somehow they are living lives of luxury on disability benefits, or that they should be grateful for the support they get. Mumsnet is a great platform for parents to come together and talk about issues that matter to them and we welcome its new campaign to dispel some of the many myths that exist."
Contact A Family is the only national charity that exists to support the families of disabled children whatever their condition or disability. Srabani Sen, CEO of Contact A Family, said:
"The Paralympics sparked national debate about whether its success marked a change in society's attitudes towards disabled people. Things are improving and we need to build on this momentum. Contact A Family knows from working alongside families with disabled children that they face stigma and discrimination across many aspects of their everyday lives at work, in school and for simply claiming benefits for their disabled children. This is why we welcome and support Mumsnet’s This is My Child campaign. Challenging the myths facing families with disabled children will help them feel more understood, valued and included as equal participants in their communities and society."
Every Disabled Child Matters campaigns to get rights and justice for every disabled child.
The National Day Nurseries Association's Chief Executive Purnima Tanuku OBE said:
“NDNA understands how important it is to make life easier for children with additional needs and their families. For the majority of parents caring for a disabled child, going back to work is a real challenge and it is vital that they have the support of affordable childcare which meets their child’s needs. NDNA is pleased to support Mumsnet This is my Child campaign which is challenging the myths surrounding families with disabled children and raising awareness of the problems these families face.”
Family Fund is the UK’s largest grant-giving charity for low-income families raising disabled or seriously ill children and young people. Cheryl Ward, Chief Executive at the Family Fund, said:
“Family Fund supports tens of thousands of families raising disabled or seriously ill children and young people every year. At the Fund, we hear first-hand from parents and carers about the daily challenges they and their families face. We exist to help ease those pressures by removing the barriers they face and improve quality of life and inclusion. We fully support and welcome Mumsnet’s This is My Child campaign to raise awareness of the challenges families with disabled children face, and help remove them.”
Special Olympics Great Britain is part of an international movement providing year-round sportstraining and competition for children and adults with intellectual disabilities. Karen Wallin, Chief Executive Special Olympics Great Britain, said:
"Special Olympics is the third member of the Olympics family alongside the Olympics and Paralymics but our mission is to be inclusive. What is unique to our organisation is the competition pathway that provides the opportunity for athletes of any ability to progress from local and regional events to national and even international competitions where they will be representing Great Britain. The improvement in sporting performance is only one of the benefits of involvement with Special Olympics – we see measureable improvements in self-confidence, self-esteem and social networking. And for parents, family and friends there is the opportunity to be a fan and take pride in the achievements of their athlete. At the end of August we had 1,700 athletes, all with intellectual disabilities, take part in the largest multi-sports disability event this year at our 2013 National Summer Games. It was five days of sporting achievement – and the breaking of stereotypes. We want to see the opportunities for those with intellectual disabilities to take part in sport, improved right across the country because we know it makes a real difference to the lives of athletes and their families. Special Olympics Great Britain is delighted to be a campaign partner for this initiative of Mumsnet and to encourage all our families to get involved and promote the campaign."
Whizz-Kidz provides disabled children with the essential wheelchairs and other mobility equipment they need to lead fun and active childhoods. They also run youth groups, wheelchair skills training, work experience placements and residential camps. Ruth Owen OBE, Chief Executive of Whizz-Kidz said:
"Whizz-Kidz is delighted to support the This Is My Child campaign which is helping to open up the conversation about disability and challenge non-disabled people’s perceptions. We understand from the young people we work with the difficulties that they face, and we have an unwavering focus on providing all young disabled people with the equipment, opportunities and support to reach their potential."
Parents for Inclusion is a network of parents of disabled children and/or children with 'special needs'. The aim of their work with parents is to increase the equal participation and inclusion of disabled children and all those children who are threatened by exclusion. Cornelia Broesskamp, Director of Development (Training) for Parents for Inclusion, said:
"Disabled young people and their families want to belong to their local communities – like everyone else. What keeps people apart is more often than not fear and ignorance of what is perceived as 'different'. The 'This Is My Child' campaign is an invitation to question prejudice and fear and to replace it with better information."
- Back to This Is My Child campaign homepage
- Chat about This Is My Child
- Special needs homepage
- Visit the This Is My Child blog round-up