April is Limb Loss Limb Difference Awareness Month, an annual campaign which aims to
educate the public on what a limb difference is and the various reasons why they occur.
This year, we want to take this message a step further by raising awareness around the fact that having a limb difference isn’t a barrier to living a fulfilling life that looks like any other.
Representation of those with limb differences - both within the community and beyond - is incredibly important. It is this representation that shows those at the beginning of their journey with a limb difference that it isn’t a barrier to success or achievement.
One area where there remains a lack of representation for limb different individuals, is in showing people simply going about their daily activities and living life to the full.
If your ‘normal’ is to be limb different then your daily life is just that – it’s normal!
Humans are incredibly adaptive and whether it’s driving a car, working out, cleaning the house, or going shopping, we all adapt these tasks in relation to our physical form. The process of adaptation may take time, careful thought and the use of adaptive aids but there is usually always a way around a task.
So, for Limb Loss Limb Difference Awareness Month 2022, LimbBo Foundation, IAMPOSSIBLE Foundation and Koalaa are teaming up to ‘normalise’ having a limb difference.
Normalising living with a limb difference
Jane at LimbBo Foundation, gave us this example:
Tommy is seven and was born without his right hand and part of his forearm. He went to the local supermarket with his mum Katie (who just happens to be a trustee of LimbBo). After finishing shopping, Tommy went to return the trolley. A woman stopped to stare at him. She had obviously never seen a child like Tommy before. She started clapping and shouting ‘well done, good boy’. Now she was obviously impressed and I’m sure she was trying to be kind. Tommy, however, just didn’t get it.
‘Why is that lady clapping me mummy?’
Katie’s response was ‘She thinks you are a good boy for helping mummy on Mother’s Day’. Tommy beamed and went away happy.
If Katie had said ‘she is impressed that you can do something as simple as returning a trolley because you’ve only got one hand …’ the question then is, why shouldn’t I be able to do that?
This is not a rare incident and we hear about many similar situations happening all the time.
Nicole from IAMPOSSIBLE shared her own example:
“I was moving my supermarket shopping from the trolley to my car boot, when a stranger walked over saying ‘let me do that for you’. I had to affirm that I was able to finish the task myself and thank them for the offer”
This quote from Representing disability: advice for brands and creators (creativereview.co.uk) puts it perfectly:
“Most often we notice great effort when it’s crowned with great success,” Toliki explains. “But people rarely see the daily activities of ordinary people with added challenges.”
Join us in sharing your #DayInTheLife moments
Throughout April, we will be sharing #DayInTheLife moments across our social media channels that demonstrate individuals with limb differences simply living their life. And we would love you to join us!
You can check out our posts on any of our social media platforms, including Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. But we would also love to see your posts, stories, reels, videos and photos, of you or your children just going about your daily life.
Don’t forget to include the hashtag - #DayInTheLife!
Let’s show the world that activities such as putting on socks, putting toothpaste on our brushes, walking our pets, preparing our favourite foods and taking part in different hobbies, are all as normal in the lives of those with limb differences as they are for those who are non-limb different.
We cannot wait to see your photos and videos!