This International Day of Persons with Disabilities (IDPD) we’re celebrating the work of 3 amazing advocates – World of Children Honorees who have worked tirelessly for children living with disabilities. Each has a different way of approaching the issue but all share one thing – the desire for inclusive opportunities for children of all abilities.
Chaeli Mycroft –
The Chaeli Campaign
“People with disabilties do not need a handout. What we need is people to see our potential and see the value that we have to add to our communities.”
Her mission: The Chaeli Campaign works to mobilize the minds and bodies of children with disabilities.
Why we honored her: Chaeli is making sure all children have the ability to reach their full potential. Since 2004, The Chaeli Campaign has helped more than 10,000 disabled children receive equipment, physical therapy and more. Chaeli Campaign’s early childhood development program includes skills training and enrichment. For eight weeks, disadvantaged children under the age of seven learn a variety of basic motor skills needed to succeed in their first year of school. Children enrolled in an inclusive enrichment center will be encouraged to celebrate difference and see ability in a different way, acknowledging that no matter how different we look or act, we all have something significant to offer one another. Watch Chaeli’s full statement for 2015 IDPD on Youtube.
The latest project we’re excited about: Chaeli’s Conquerors – Chaeli, Grant Kruger, and a growing community of athletes with different abilities are embarking on adventures to change perceptions of ability and possibility. These adventures include cycling tours, swimming races, and climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro!
C. Mead Welles –
A Leg To Stand On
“By providing children the orthopedic care they need they are able to regain their independence, move around, and take care of themselves. Their emotional health is greatly improved when they have independence and self-sufficiency.”
His mission: ALTSO provides free prosthetic limbs, orthopedic devices, mobility aids, corrective surgery and rehabilitative care to children in the developing world who have lost their limbs in traumatic accidents or suffer from congenital disabilities. Since 2002, ALTSO has transformed the lives of over 11,000 children and currently operates in 10 developing countries.
Why we honored him: Since 2002, ALTSO has transformed the lives of over 14,000 children in 10 developing countries. Just $150 can provide a life-changing orthopedic treatment for a child, making our investment in ALTSO an incredibly good one.
The latest project we’re excited about: ALTSO’s #coolkidportraits is a fun social media campaign that recognizes that children are children – no matter their circumstances. #coolkidportraits has an empowering message – that each of the young people they feature “are cool kids no because we say so, but because they say so.”
See all the #coolkidportraits here
Sarah Cronk –
The Sparkle Effect
“Our teams reported that involvement with The Sparkle Effect produces a greater sense of school and community pride as well as an increase in respectful, accepting, and inclusive interactions between students overall. As it turns out, what we’ve always believed is actually true: when everyone cheers, everyone wins.”
Her mission: The Sparkle Effect helps students nationwide create school-based cheerleading and dance teams that bring together students with and without disabilities.
Why we honored her: In 2008, Sarah created and coached the nation’s first inclusive cheerleading squad. One year later, she established The Sparkle Effect, Inc. Since its inception, Sarah has generated over 100 inclusive cheerleading and dance teams in middle schools, high schools and colleges across the United States.
The latest project we’re excited about: The Sparkle Effect is spreading! As more teams form across the United States, more students – of all abilities – are experiencing the benefits of inclusive high school programming. Recently, Melanie Day, a 15 year old freshman in Pennsylvania, walked in her first parade as a cheerleader. “She’s participating. She enjoys being in front of the crowd – and [the cheerleaders] have been welcoming,” said her father, an electrician. “She feels at home.” Read the full story on Philly.com.
About IDPD and How Living With a Disability Affects Children
Today, December 3, 2015, the world is celebrating The International Day of Persons with Disabilities (IDPD) for the 24th year. Since 1992, this day has been used to promote awareness and mobilize support for critical issues relating to the inclusion of persons with disabilities in society and development.
This year’s theme, “Inclusion Matters,” focuses on promoting access and empowerment for all people by building inclusive societies.
An estimated one billion people worldwide are living with disabilities. These disabilities range from the highly visible to the invisible but all share one common thing – people living with them are often excluded from full participation in their communities.
For children, this exclusion can result in delayed development, lack of education, or even abuse. One study estimates that children and adolescents with disabilities are 3-4 times more likely to experience physical and sexual violence and neglect than their peers without disabilities.*
Today, please join us in celebrating and honoring the work of these 3 amazing advocates who are changing these statistics while changing children’s lives. Together, we can ensure that EVERYDAY is a day of inclusion and empowerment for children living with disabilities.
* Source: Jones, L, Bells, M.A., et al., Prevalence and risk of violence against children with disabilities: a systematic review and meta-analysis of observational studies, Lancet 2012.