“They should show us more love and respect and help us more, especially on the road and in school, and stop making fun of us! Because that’s what makes me feel sad, when other children tease me saying how I cannot walk.”
That’s my daughter Brittany, who is seven years old. She has arthrogryposis multiplex congenita (AMC), which means she has contracted limbs and muscle weakness.
Her abilities shine thanks to her determination
Brittany is the most amazing gift God could give me as a mother. She is so much more than what other children tease her for. She has taught me that just because she has a disability does not mean it needs to stop her from trying whatever she wants: even participating on sports day to show the other students what she can do.
Even though she cannot walk, she will creep, she will dance, and she is always helpful to me at home.
As her mother I have learned to admire her so much! Brittany is simply an amazing child. She is an honour roll student at Willowdene Prep and her dream is to one day become a doctor and help other children with disabilities.
Challenges facing families with disabilities
The challenges that families like us face here in Jamaica is that most people will not look out for those of us living with disabilities. I think the Government can do more for children with disabilities in assisting the parents – such as buses to take our children to school and improved facilities for when they reach school to make learning more accessible.
The other morning I was taking her to town but the buses and taxis refused to take us because she used a wheelchair. Some people will stare and others will say things. But despite everything, Brittany keeps amazing me every day. She is so determined and I am here to tell you that I am so proud to be her mother.
In partnership with the Digicel Foundation and the Jamaica Council for Persons with Disabilities (JCPD), UNICEF has launched the I Am Able media campaign about children with disabilities. This is part of a two-year partnership which seeks to encourage families to register children with disabilities with the JCPD and to encourage Government to fully enforce the Disabilities Act (2014), to provide greater protection to Jamaicans with disabilities.
Brittany, 7 has a disability, but she's not going to allow that – or other people – to hold her back. RT to encourage Brittany & her goal of becoming a doctor to help other children with disabilities! Her story: https://t.co/OzDgCcJjZB #iAmAbleJA pic.twitter.com/Yy3Vmxy09w
— UNICEF Jamaica (@UNICEFJamaica) December 19, 2018