Having just completed a final draft of Simon Goes to Camp, I was hoping the story would no longer be as relevant, having written the last draft in 2018. That’s me looking at the world through rose-coloured glasses. My book follows Simon at Camp with his school. He receives ridicule for his intellect and his autism. When he goes missing—in search of the bad guy to save the world—his parents also suffer similar persecution. I wrote the story to raise awareness of disability and the constant covert discrimination people with a disability and their carers suffer.
Raising awareness of the diversity of human abilities through this series pales to insignificance when compared to campaigners who take a stand against discrimination and bias.
For example, the Disability Resource Centre who have petitioned to the Victorian Government to make public transport work for all. Their campaign discloses that despite a directive for all tram’s stops to be fully accessible to all by next year, the Victorian Government won’t meet the target.
Or Nina Skov Jensen, whose petition against ‘Music’ has raised over 100,000 supporters. ‘Music’ is Sia’s debut movieabout a girl with autism, but unfortunately it falls short of today’s expectations in raising awareness. Nina states actors in the movie:
“stereotypically mimicking autistic people, the exact same way autistic people have been bullied and mocked their entire lives.”
And the campaign to make all packaging accessible run by Jerusha Mather. Seriously, who designs packaging that cannot open?
Building Better Homes makes us aware that buildings continue to be built that are not accessible to all.
What about the campaign to “Stop Australian schools locking children with autism in ‘Sensory Rooms’ as human cages”? This one is close to my heart as someone working in the industry and with a grandson diagnosed with autism. It’s appalling to think this Draconian measure continues in some schools.
The need for campaigners and advocates to raise awareness is vital for a community that goes unseen and not heard. Where is the media coverage of the Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of people with Disability? This Royal Commission was held around the country for the past year and continues throughout this 2021.
Please help raise awareness of these and other worthwhile campaigns. With a united voice, we can ensure that those with a disability will be seen and heard.
Show your support by clicking on the links above. Please raise any other campaigns or issues, by leaving a message below. Together we can become an equitable and inclusive society.