Exhibition to promote positive images of disabled in children’s books

Positive images of disabled people and of those from other excluded groups feature in a collection of 45 hand-picked children’s picture books which will be launched on Tuesday at Westside Library, Seamus Quirke Road at 3.30pm.

Galway Play4All, an organisation which promotes the inclusion of disabled children within play, is promoting the books from a variety of publishers.

“How we depict the world to our children in their books is important,” says Jean Parker of Galway Play4All. “We looked first for children’s picture books with high-quality writing and illustration. From these we chose those which also included images of disabled children and adults or of people from other excluded groups who are often invisible in books.

“Our aim was to choose stories in which characters who are disabled or otherwise excluded are shown casually, as in the real world - playing, dancing, exploring, feeling, learning and just getting on normally with their everyday lives, not necessarily as the main focus,” she says.

The books selected will appeal to both older and younger children and their families. They are being displayed for a month at Westside, Tuam and Ballinasloe libraries and can also be borrowed free by children.

Dubray Books in Shop Street is featuring a selection of the titles and can order others.

Maureen Moran, the county’s senior executive librarian, says the library is delighted to be involved in this initiative, promoting high quality picture books with inclusive illustrations.

“We look forward to welcoming children and their parents into libraries to borrow these books, free of charge.”

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