See the Child, Not the Disability

Written by Annette Apitz, UNICEF USA.

Last week UNICEF launched its annual State of the World’s Children report. This year, the report is focusing on children with disabilities. It calls on the world to change attitudes and include children with disabilities in all areas of society.

In Zimbabwe, 17-year-old Munashe writes with his feet. Unable to use his hands because of a disability, he is taking final exams in mathematics at the King George IV School of the Disabled. Munashe wants to be an accountant.

Thirteen-year-old Uyanga was born learning disabled. Today, she attends a UNICEF-supported center that teaches children with disabilities new skills in an inclusive and supportive environment. Uyanga is learning to hold a pen and is working on her speech.

All children, including children with disabilities, have the right to learn, to play, to reach their dreams. But sadly, Uyanga and Munashe are more exception than the rule.

Children with disabilities are among the most deprived and marginalized children in the world. They are the least likely to go to school, and are most vulnerable to neglect and abuse. They are targets of discrimination, exclusion and stigmatization. Girls, especially, are frequently malnourished, and are subject to forced sterilization. Worst of all, children with disabilities are too often invisible—ignored by governments and communities.

Right now, there are 93 million children living with disabilities—many of whom are discriminated against, excluded, and, in effect, made invisible.

UNICEF is working to bring these children back from the margins of society by removing barriers to their participation and by including them in all of its programs. When we give all children the right to reach their full potential, society is enriched as a whole.

Here is what you can do to help give children with disabilities a chance to make their dreams a reality.

This post was originally published by UNICEF.


Photo: Rahmatuallah, 14, writes on a white board during a workshop for electricians at a UNICEF-assisted reintegration and rehabilitation center in Kandahar. © UNICEF/AFGA2007-00420/Noorani


JOSE Honr2 years ago

Thanks for sharing.

Ian F.
Ian F.3 years ago

The World can learn so much in the way of compassion from the disabled. We are human beings, just like you.

True beauty lies within us all, we just need to show it more.

Chitram Manisha
Chitram Manisha3 years ago

thaku for sharing

Aud Nordby
Aud nordby3 years ago


Patricia H.
Patricia H.3 years ago

interesting, thanks for sharing

Virginia Belder
Virginia Belder3 years ago

Thank u so much!!

Dianne McGonigle
Dianne McGonigle3 years ago

Thank you for sharing... Everyone has a lesson to teach and a lesson to learn!!

Stacey Toda
Stacey Toda3 years ago

Thanks for the info

Vicky H.
Past Member 3 years ago

thank you

holly masih
h masih3 years ago

We all have abilities,and we all have disabilities.Sometimes abilities need to be brought out,because they are not always visible.But everyone has some thing to contribute for the good of everyone else.
At the same time,everyone has a disability of some kind.My disability is not so easily noticed.I am not in a wheelchair.I look perfectly normal,I can hold a normal conversation.To talk to me,or interact with me,you would never know that I have a disability.
I have bipolar disorder.I do not do the things that many associate with this disorder.I function like any other person who is considered normal.I manage my symptoms with ganja,as well as with prayer and meditation.Unless I tell someone,no one even knows.
It is better to focus on people as people,souls,with feelings,with value,and with a unique gift that only they can give to the world.