Abolishing Dwarfism Prejudice Starts In Schools Danielle Webb Looks To Educate And Raise Awareness About The Realities Of Dwarfism

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It was difficult for Danielle Webb, 23, to change the opinions of those who were ignorant, so she worked on teaching kids.

It “just becomes our norm” to be called names and ridiculed at, 3ft 11.5in (1.2m) tall Danielle added.

Danielle’s health was the focus of an investigative documentary on BBC One earlier this week.

For children with the most prevalent type of dwarfism, achondroplasia, Vosoritide is now accessible in the United States and the NHS has conducted studies for a possible rollout in the United Kingdom. Vosoritide was created.

Each day, when Danielle leaves her home in Newport to attend the University of South Wales or to work at youth arts organization Urban Circle, she must brace herself for the derision, name-calling, stares, and even people attempting to snap photographs that she has become used to.

According to Danielle, a native of Portishead, Somerset, “the typical” for someone with dwarfism is people staring and laughing.

“‘Look at her, what’s that all about?’  It’s just like what you’d see in school.

To put it another way, “I’ve been called names on the street, we’ve been in positions as a group where people have tried – not always successfully – to get a photo… where that goes afterwards is obviously completely out of our control.”

She said that “nine times out of ten” she was able to shake it off “”I can’t do this, this is ridiculous,” you tell yourself at least once in your life.

“It is challenging on the bad days… [but] it just becomes our norm.”

“You can’t let it break you every single day,” she tells herself when she gets to work or school.

Besides the insults from strangers, she said she and others like her had to navigate a society created for ordinary height.

The difficulty of reaching cash registers, railway ticket machines, and public restroom basins are all examples of the inconveniences faced on a daily basis.

Her words, “if I sit down and really think about all I have to overcome in one day or one week, that can kind of scare you,” were prophetic.

All of this energizes her in her pursuit of social change.

Thunk-It Theatre in York is adapting her novel Mummy There’s A New Girl for the stage after it was released last year.

After being bullied for her appearance, a courageous youngster learns that size isn’t an issue when she tries to see beyond her peculiarities.

She has started visiting schools now that Wales is at Covid alert level zero.

The task of educating others about Danielle’s medical condition has always sounded intimidating to her.

“Most of the time with adults, the ones that listen are the good ones anyway, they’re not the ones that actually need educating.

“Instead of channelling my energy into trying to change opinions I need to be there when the opinions are formed.”

She feels her intuition was correct during a recent trip to Newport’s Maindee Primary School.

By the halfway point, the kids didn’t seem to mind that she was little; they were more enthusiastic that she was an author and that she was a fresh face.

It was unnecessary to bring up my dwarfism since they saw me as no different from any other adult.

To abolish discrimination, she believes this is the only way to achieve it: “I have no doubt every child in that room will grow up accepting and understanding differences, because that’s what they showed me when I went in.”

She said she thought some people had prejudices because “their questions weren’t answered and they weren’t exposed to more visible disability when they were younger,” she added.

During a recent documentary, Paralympic swimmer Ellie Simmonds stated her fears that the medicine vosoritide may “eradicate dwarfism,” but talked to others who saw its research as a positive step forward.

Danielle retorted with: “The people who choose to take it should be treated with exactly the same kindness as the people who don’t choose to take it.

“Bad days aside, I’m very comfortable in my skin… I wouldn’t have the life I do now if I didn’t have dwarfism – but do I still understand why someone would chose to take it? Of course.”

Aiming to make the world a better place for persons with dwarfism, she added, “so if the injections come to the UK they aren’t seen as the only solution,” she said.

According to Danielle, she knows a lot of successful individuals with dwarfism in their fields of work, relationships, and education.

That doesn’t imply our quality of life or our talents in life are any different because of the problems out there, she added.

It’s something that should be promoted and recognized, therefore we need to get the word out.


The article is paraphrased from the following: Dwarfism: Woman’s battle against ignorance starts in schools, Nicola Bryan, https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-wales-61037196