The younger children are when they first become aware of disability, the better it is for them – and others – in later life.
That’s the founding principle behind Disability Awareness UK, which has been working with disabled children and adults in the UK since 1967.
The organisation says: “Whether involved with families, in youth clubs, charity shops or furniture projects, integration is our aim.
“Having learnt, from first-hand experience, how much even the most severely disabled people can contribute to the success of a project, we feel the younger the children are when they first become aware of disability, the more impact it will make on them and they will have no problem accepting disabled colleagues later in life.”
Disability Awareness UK points out disability does not end in childhood.
Its website says: “When the child grows up, (there are) the problems of adulthood, and at some point many of the early problems of ageing, and while many elderly people do not have serious disabilities, many do.”
To help integration, volunteers and drama therapists go into schools to perform workshops to emphasise the problems encountered by the disabled community in everyday life and to help get across the message about being positive about disability.
Another organisation dedicated to the integration of people with and without physical disabilities is Phab (Physically Disabled and Able Bodied) clubs.
South Holland has a branch of Phab (for over 18s) which meets on the first and third Wednesday of each month at Weston Hills Village Hall (7.30pm-10.30pm).
Contact the organiser on 01775 761551 for further information.