This is Roxanne and she has become the subject of some controversy in my life. On Mother's Day we went out for lunch with Ruby and Sadie and Mike ... to celebrate and thank Marissa for all she does. To keep the kids occupied at lunch I spent some time making a colouring book for each of the girls that had pictures of things I knew they liked and a cover page with their names in large colourable letters. They seemed to enjoy it.
A few days later I asked Marissa if the girls liked the books and she said that Ruby, in particular loved the book. I then set about making another. This time I found a picture of a little girl in a wheelchair and put some text with the picture:
Hi, Ruby, my name is Roxanne. Both our names start with the letter R. Can you give my wheelchair really cool colours?
This picture was slipped in along with a bunch of other pictures of things and places that I know Ruby loves. Along with that I found some mazes and puzzles and jokes. I really enjoyed making the booklet.
I showed this to someone who surprised me by accusing me of trying to brainwash Ruby with 'my ideas about disabilities'.
Hold it ...
I just thought that since we, people with disabilities, were in the world, there was no reason for us to be in a colouring book. I didn't think I was putting forward an idea at all.
I am putting forward the idea of simple, natural, inclusion. Oddly, I didn't think of it as an 'idea' but as a 'reality' ... but it isn't a reality is it? It's still an idea.
So maybe I am putting an idea into a colouring book. I won't argue that I'm not.
It's a helluva good idea.