by Mary Verdi-Fletcher, Founding Artistic Director of The Dancing Wheels Company & School
I have had the sheer pleasure of talking to and meeting thousands of children over the span of 38 years performing and presenting in educational outreach programs all over the world through The Dancing Wheels Company & School. I believe firmly that reaching children at a very early age is important while they are impressionable and before they develop stereotypical attitudes and fears.
When meeting a person with a disability for the first time, the best thing to do is to allow a child to ask questions and to not pull them away if they are staring or are inquisitive. Understand that we are all different in a way, and that is OK. That is what makes for interesting friendships. For example, I use my wheelchair to get around while others use their legs and feet, but we are all able to get where we want to go!