Children with disabilities share their stories on Facebook

A former special educational needs teacher from Florida has set up a not for profit organisation aimed at giving a voice to disabled children. Talking to the BBC, Chris Ulmer explained his motivation: "The students in my class were amazing. They were funny, engaging and charismatic."

“But the rest of our neighbourhood didn't really understand them. Nobody valued them. I wanted to show off these individuals and help them show the world what they had to offer." He uses the term "neurodiverse," explaining his belief that “everyone's brain is diverse and when you respect that idea, you begin to see that everyone is the same." "I consider it my role to normalise the diversity of the human condition." This led Ulmer to start filming interviews with his students which he then shared on his Facebook page, called Special Books by Special Kids (SBSK). The popularity of the page grew rapidly and it currently has more than 1.1 million followers. He now travels the world interviewing people with disabilities of all ages, with the videos also sometimes featuring parents and siblings.  He opens interviews by asking “What’s something special about you?” or “What do you want to the world to know about you?” Some of the children are non-verbal, using body language to communicate and some use assistive technology to speak. But as well giving children a voice, he hopes that his videos are helpful for parents who might well feel isolated: "If you're a parent struggling with a new diagnosis, this will connect you to other parents around the world and to other individuals with the same diagnosis as your child and that takes away the fear." One Facebook user commented:  “I totally love your interviews with the kids. But also I love seeing the moms. This is not only motivation and understanding for our kids, but for us moms who sometimes feel alone in the world raising a child or young adult with special needs. Thank you so much for all you do. It always makes my day watching your interviews and the positivity of all of these wonderful, amazing kids." To find out more visit www.specialbooksbyspecialkids.org
Share page
Print page
Follow us
Hide Message
We do not store personal details in the cookies we use. This site needs a small number of cookies to function efficiently and track visitor usage to help us maintain and continue to improve.
For more information see our cookie information page.