News Video | Policy | GPs | Hospitals | Medical | Mental Health | Welfare | Search


Campaign aims to reduce negative disability stereotypes

04 March 2013

Campaign aims to reduce negative disability stereotypes

You know how kids stare at people in wheelchairs and aren’t sure what to say? Diversityworks Trust wants to change that.

"We want kids to run up to people in wheelchairs and say, 'Wow! You must be a superhero!”' says Trust Executive Director and co-author of “My Friend is a Superhero”, Philip Patston.

Published by Diversityworks Trust, "My Friend is a Superhero!" is a children’s book about Jack, who uses a wheelchair, told by his friend, who sees all the amazing things Jack can do — like getting to school sitting down, playing basketball and doing tricks at the skate park. Jack’s also really good at maths.

Co-written by Barbara Pike (Patston's PA), and illustrated by Sam Orchard, the book’s purpose is to influence children (and their parents) away from negative stereotypes, as well as portraying unique aspects of function and experience to encourage children’s natural curiosity.

"The book's reading age is around 7-9 years, but we believe it would suit children aged 3-10 years and possibly older as a discussion starter about diversity," says Patston.

A PledgeMe campaign aims to raise $3500 to print 1000 copies of "My Friend Is A Superhero". Duffy Books in Homes have agreed to distribute 500 of these to lower-decile schools throughout New Zealand.

Duffy Books in Homes provides free books to children from decile one, two and three schools. Children in these schools are more likely to come from homes which have limited or no access to books. Children who can’t read become adults who can’t communicate and that’s a serious disadvantage in a world that operates on the written word.

Duffy provides free books to over 100,000 New Zealand children, three times a year, across 500 schools. This includes books for school libraries as well as copies that kids can take home and keep.

The rest of the books will be available as rewards and for sale. Any profit from sales will go towards a further reprint of the book.

For more information and to pledge visit


© Scoop Media

Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines


Arts Festival: An Evening With Richard Dawkins

In a special one-off, New Zealand event at the Michael Fowler Centre, Dawkins will reflect on his eminent career as a scientist, and expand on the themes of inspiration, influence and ideas in his recent memoir, Brief Candle in the Dark: My Life in Science. More>>


Scoop Review Of Books: Worldly And Unworldly

"Being Magdalene" by Fleur Beale The situations shown in this youth novel are shocking, scary, and very moving as we experience Magdalene’s struggle to be a perfect girl as defined by the cruel and unreasonable leader of “The Children of the Faith”, as she moves reluctantly into young womanhood. More>>

Whistle Stop: Netball NZ To Implement New INF Rules

Netball New Zealand (NNZ) will implement the new Official Rules of Netball, as set down by the International Netball Federation (INF), from January 1, 2016. Key changes include the elimination of whistle following a goal, amendments to injury time and changes to setting a penalty. More>>


Scoop Review Of Books: Waiata Aroha

Vaughan Rapatahana on Chappy by Patricia Grace: With this eminently readable novel Patricia Grace returns to the full-length fiction stage after a hiatus of ten years. More>>

'Ithaca' At Q Theatre: Introducing NZ's World Class Cirque Troupe

NZ’s very own cirque troupe is set to become a household name with the premier of its adaptation of Homer’s Odyssey having secured a key season in Auckland. More>>

Music Awards: The Tuis Are Broody This Year

Topping off a sensationally eventful year both at home and internationally, Nelson born brother-sister duo Broods has taken home four Tuis from this year’s 50th annual Vodafone New Zealand Music Awards. More>>


Sport: Richie McCaw Retires From Rugby

Richie McCaw has today confirmed he is hanging up his boots and retiring from professional rugby. The 34-year-old All Blacks captain and most capped All Black of all time has drawn the curtain on his stunning international career which started in Dublin 14 years ago, almost to the day, and ended in London last month when he hoisted the Webb Ellis Cup aloft for the second time. More>>


Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news