To celebrate Dwarfism Awareness Month 2019, I’m sharing some of the photographs from the ‘You’re Just Little’ exhibition which debuted in 2018. The exhibition shows the challenges, obstacles and societal assumptions that Dwarf people face on a daily basis.
THE STORY BEHIND THE PHOTOGRAPH
A kind friend let me borrow their kitchen for this photograph. My husband adapted ours to enable me to move around the space safely, which is one of the main issues I want to draw attention to.
When I cook in a kitchen designed for average-height people, I become a danger. Imagine, looking at the pan in the picture with which I am eye-level, is full of boiling water. You would rush to help, yes?!?
Something as simple as making a meal becomes dangerous. Over the years I’ve balanced precariously on stools while stood over a hot stove. Yet people, who often have never come into contact with a Dwarf person, will not realise the difficulties we face when moving around the environment. Nor realise the support needs that are required for us to be safe, or the challenges spaces, such as the kitchen present, to allowing a dwarf person to be and live, independently.
I’m fortunate, as I mentioned earlier, my husband put a false floor in our kitchen and raised it. I’ve never forgotten the feeling of freedom and independence I now have to move around the kitchen freely. There are still issues with high cupboards and not having great arm strength to be able to carry boiling hot pans. Yet that bit of adaptation has given me a sense of being able.
It’s worth remembering, as a Dwarf person, we often stand either at the same height or smaller than a person in a wheelchair, yet the difficulties we face across most areas of our lives are yet to be recognised by professionals, friends and usually extended family, or supported by public policy. Access to accessible housing in the U.K is challenging. Requests to private landlords to make adaptations to homes are likely to be unsupported.
FOLLOW THE PHOTOGRAPH’S STORIES THROUGHOUT DWARFISM AWARENESS MONTH
Each day, I share an insight into the stories and the main themes that each of the photographs represents to help celebrate Dwarfism Awareness month.