Blog post by: Bhawna Arora*
What starts with D and is a frequent word on Ginny’s Planet? ‘I am Ok. You are Ok- Differences and Disability’ workshop as part of A Day on Ginny’s Planet was promoted with this simple question. The answers: Dolls! Disability! Diversity! Differences! Dr Shweta Verma and Himanshi Sardana led this workshop in a simple, no-jargon manner for the children & adults.
Dr. Shweta Verma, a social work professional, is Co-Founder & CEO of Ginny’s Planet. She has been working on disability rights & mental health field since 2002. Himanshi Sardana is a person living with Cerebral palsy. She leads Decode Disability, a social media initiative and is a working professional in a Management and Consulting organization based in Delhi.
Some Focus Areas in the Workshop
This workshop brought the conversation about Disability in a non stigmatising and participatory manner. Dr Shweta Verma and Himanshi Sardana discussed the meaning of a good day or a bad day can be difference for everyone. As the conversation moved further, following aspects came up:
What terms to use for persons with disabilities?
Disabled Child, Special Child, Different from others, Viklaang? Remember, every person can be called or introduced by the way they choose. For instance, it is better to say, ‘living with’ [a particular condition] and not ‘suffering’ with it. You can clarify this further with THIS VIDEO or THIS ONE.
The products around us should be universally designed so that they don’t create barriers in the life of disabled persons. Meena and Ferose (2021, p. 239) in their book, Invisible Majority says “We hardly realise, as we go about our daily business, how much we take our surroundings for granted- unaware of what might be obstacles for persons with disabilities”
How do you view ‘deviance’ in different contexts?
Remember that there can be differences in the specific requirements like clothing, eating, moving, writing, reading etc. as these can’t be same for anyone.
How do you view affirmative action?
Remember: Different Rules ≠ Favour. Accommodation ≠ Favour.
How to be a Good Friend with everyone including person with disabilities?
Remember that a Good Friend will
- Respect Choices and Boundaries.
- Ask. Not Assume
- Be an equal. Not a saviour.
- Ask for help. Not a superhero! Be ordinary!
- Allow others to know self! Get to know other parts of life of friend
- Accept accommodations
- Scan the environment for Access! Make your place accessible
With this workshop, we hope everyone took away action points for everyday practice! Ginny’s Planet offers products and workshops on empathy, diversity, and inclusion. firstname.lastname@example.org for specific requirements. Do explore Educator’s Kit for your home and school:
About Ginny’s Planet:
Ginny’s Planet is a social enterprise Co-founded by Dr. Shweta Verma in 2019. The brand runs on the core value of helping our teachers and parents to teach their children to become independent, smart and better leaders by equipping them with a deep understanding of empathy, diversity, disability and inclusion. Dr. Shweta and the team design events, workshops and products to help guardians & schools to develop kids’ mindset and evolve as adaptive and flexible human beings. They work with schools to organise workshops for children and teachers.
See other posts on Diversity and Differences
- DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION: WHY MAKE THIS HAPPEN?
- Do you accept diversity? findout from the checklist
- SEE THE WORLD BETTER WITH GINNY: EMPATHY, DIVERSITY & DISABILITY
- 3 STORIES TO CONNECT CHILDREN WITH EMPATHY AND DIVERSITY
Not heard about the Conversation about Differences and Disabilities before, Do watch the Snapshot coming up in this playlist:
C.K. Meena, V.R. Ferose (2021). The Invisible Majority: India’s Abled Disabled. Hachette India
*Bhawna Arora was a Mom-Intern on Ginny’s Planet during the period: Dec 2021-Feb 2022