'When I was young I wanted to be a geologist, you know, dinosaurs and stuff. But as I got older I became aware of my being in a wheel chair and it dawned on me it wouldn't be possible'. This quotation from a disabled student interviewed for this book graphically illustrates how disabled boys and girls experience their childhood differently from most children. The challenge for those working with disabled children and young people is to enable them to negotiate their childhood successfully, and to help them in a world which may crush their hopes and dreams, confront them with barriers and prejudices, and exclude, bully or abuse them because of their difference.Thinking inclusively means designing services to meet the needs of all children, not just those who are able bodied. Placing the experiences of disabled children at the heart of service planning will create high quality provision for all service users, addressing key issues such as communication, family support, protection, confidence in services, advocacy, children's rights and anti-oppressive practice.
Key features include: draws on disabled young people's own accounts of their childhood; describes their experiences of the health, education and welfare systems; offers explanations for continued prejudice against disabled people in an age of equal opportunity; assists professionals and organizations to understand and dismantle discriminatory practices; and, makes suggestions for more inclusive provision. Written by a leading authority in the field, this book is a valuable text for childcare professionals in all sectors as well as anyone with an interest in promoting social justice.