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
Ah, the humble public toilet. That everyday task us humans undertake and use without a second thought… unless you’re a Dwarf person.
This space, that is a right to so many, is a difficult space to navigate when you’re significantly shorter than the rest of the population. In this particular photo shows the very top of my forehead and a very tall coat hook that is way out of my reach to use.
This is only one element of difficulties when using the toilet. You have the doors into the facilities in the first place which are heavy and usually high up. Then there is the toilet basin itself, it’s a lottery of whether it’s going to feel like you’re hitching up the proverbial mountain.
In this case, though, you have to make a split decision whether you are going to put your coat on toilet floor (yuck), assess whether the door lock with double as a coat hook or more than likely, become a contortionist while, well, you know.
I’m guessing there’s an architect’s handbook that states how high coat hooks and locks on toilet doors have to be or perhaps a health and safety reason… yet, what would it take to lower the hook down or provide another one, lower down.
You could just use the disabled toilet!
Ah, yes, the disabled loo… where everything in that particular space is lowered down except the one thing you are in that space to use in the first place… the toilet. That’s if you’re not challenged for using it in the first place, because, you know, “you’re just little”.
- Read this excellent article by Dr Erin Pritchard – Living with Dwarfism, I’m Made To Feel Like A Disability ‘Fraud’ »
- Listen to the You’re Just Little exhibition on Accessibility »
- Then watch Sinéad Burke’s TED Talk – Why Design Should Include Everyone »