What Does Dwarfism Awareness Mean To Me
by Stephanie Short – President
Let me take you back to a time when little people (LP’s) were considered a side show, and this isn’t all that long ago. When LP’s were put into circus’s to be poked fun at, laughed at, called obscene names and used as some sort of entertainment for the regular folk to do as they wished and it was all condoned.
Now let me shoot you forward to 2012, to when my youngest child was born. My world completely turned upside down. I was scrambling, trying to figure out how my son would grow up in this cruel and cynical world, where society is focused on an unrealistic perception of what the perfect body is. For me knowing, that it is inevitable, that he is going to be picked on and bullied because of the condition he was born with, leaves me with a constant guilt that I know I will not be able to protect him from this forever. I have heard all sorts of horror stories, where LP’s are going about their day to day business and they get stopped in their tracks, because some uneducated person decides they are going to make their day better by bullying someone who is different to them. It is not just the name calling and laughing, but the hurling of objects at LP’s because they think this behaviour is acceptable. Then to have onlookers laugh too, because they are also ill informed of ‘what is Dwarfism’, and the fact that they have just emotionally hurt someone who is sound in mind and body, all they have is a bone growth difference.
So, what does dwarfism awareness mean to me?
It means founding an understanding of another person. This could take the form of their physical, mental and emotional make up. It’s educating the masses, so my child doesn’t receive the abuse that seems to be ‘copped on the chin’, because of the underlying belief that nothing will change; ‘it’s always been this way and it always will’.
NO! It will not be ok and NO! It’s not always going to be this way.
We have been building a foundation since 2012 to support and generate greater awareness. Although we have made an impact, it is nothing to what we will work towards and achieve. We strive to educate every new individual we meet and will work towards enlightening the greater masses with greater means.
Dwarfism Awareness Australia Inc. (D.A.A) was registered in 2014 by the founding Brisbane based D.A.A members. We have been actively educating our communities, the response has been positive and the community have been listening and asking questions. Judging by the response we have had over the last 2 years and the ongoing local and media support. I’m looking forward to what the future holds for the LP community and our campaign for dwarfism awareness here in Australia.