TORONTO – Ontario’s provincial government has published a series of children’s books aimed at encouraging inclusion and acceptance of people with disabilities.
Books with titles such as “I’m Smart in My Own Way” are meant to teach children the benefits of understanding diverse and varied experiences.
The initiative is related to the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act.
The book series was written by Carolyn MacDiarmid, an author and former preschool teacher with low vision.
The government says representation plays an important part in promoting inclusion and providing support and inspiration for people with disabilities.
The books are available for free in print, digital and braille versions in both French and English to Ontario libraries and elementary schools.
In a release, accessibility minister Tracy MacCharles says the stories “challenge stereotypes, showcase positive attitudes and celebrate individuality.”
By reading about the complex lives of people with disabilities, MacDiarmid says “children will learn to see magic, potential, and possibility in others, rather than limitations.”
According to Statistics Canada, nearly 14 per cent of Canadians live with a disability.