Note – Our LimbBo website is in the process of having a complete revamp so I’m posting here on behalf of Team LimbBo, I am Possible Foundation and Koalaa.
April is Limb Difference awareness month and year after year the message is centred on educating the public about what a limb difference is and the various reasons why they occur. But we want to take it a step further and raise awareness around the fact that having a limb difference isn’t a barrier to living a fulfilling life that looks like any other.
Representation of those with limb differences both within the community and beyond is incredibly important. This representation shows those at the beginning of their journey with limb difference that their limb difference will not be a barrier to achieving success in life.
However, there is little representation of limb different individuals conducting daily activities, going about their day and living life. If your ‘normal’ is to be limb different then your daily life is just that – it’s normal, it’s what you do. Humans are incredibly adaptive and whether it’s driving a car, working out or going shopping we all adapt these tasks in relation to our physical form. The process of adaptation may take time, careful thought and the use of adaptive aids but there is usually always a way around a task.
Jane from LimbBo Foundation gives an example of a recent situation below –
“Tommy is 7 and was born without his right hand and part of his forearm. He went to the local supermarket with his mum (who just happens to be a trustee of limbBo). After finishing shopping, Tommy went to return the trolley. A woman stopped to stare at him. She had obviously never seen a child like Tommy before. She started clapping and shouting ‘well done, good boy’. Now she was obviously impressed and I’m sure she was trying to be kind. Tommy, however, just didn’t get it.
‘Why is that lady clapping me mummy?’
Katie’s response was ‘she thinks you are a good boy for helping mummy on Mother’s Day, – Tommy beamed and went away happy.
If Katie had said ‘she is impressed that you can do something as simple as returning a trolley because you’ve only got one hand …’ the question then is why shouldn’t I be able to do that?”
This is not a rare incident and many similar situations are reported by those with limb differences. Nicole from IAMPOSSIBLE had a similar experience “I was moving my supermarket shopping from the trolley to my car boot, when a stranger walked over saying ‘let me do that for you’. I had to affirm that I was able to finish the task myself and thank them for the offer”
This quote from Representing disability: advice for brands and creators (creativereview.co.uk) puts it perfectly:
“Most often we notice great effort when it’s crowned with great success,
but people rarely see the daily activities of ordinary people with added challenges.”
Therefore, our LDAM campaign is #dayinthelife –
We would love you to join in on any of our social media platforms Twitter, Facebook, Instagram – post stories, reels, videos, photos of you or your children just going about your daily life. And don’t forget to add the Hashtag #DayInTheLife!
The photos of Lottie Swimming in galas show she’s an incredible young lady… not because she can swim with one hand but because she trains, she swims when she’s tired, she’s working hard to improve her times. If its normal to praise a child for an achievement it’s normal to praise a limb different child for the same achievement.
Jane Says, “I praise Tommy for using my Nespresso machine and making me a coffee because he’s doing it to be kind and he knows I love my coffee, I don’t praise him for being able to put toothpaste on his tooth brush with one hand – it’s normal for him.”
So, Let’s show the world that activities such as putting on socks, putting toothpaste on our brushes, walking our pets, preparing our favourite foods, hobbies are all as normal in the lives of those with limb differences as those who are non-limb different.
If you would like a t shirt these are designed by Nicole from I am Possible and any profits will be divided between LimbBo and I am Possible.
We can’t wait to see your photos and remember if you want to use the app 1 sec every day to share at the end of the month that would be amazing.