Because who is perfect?

Published on Dec 2, 2013

Disabled mannequins will be eliciting astonished looks from passers-by on Zurich’s Bahnhofstrasse today. Between the perfect mannequins, there will be figures with scoliosis or brittle bone disease modelling the latest fashions. One will have shortened limbs; the other a malformed spine. The campaign has been devised for the International Day of Persons with Disabilities by Pro Infirmis, an organisation for the disabled. Entitled “Because who is perfect? Get closer.”, it is designed to provoke reflection on the acceptance of people with disabilities. Director Alain Gsponer has captured the campaign as a short film. The figures are life-sized, three-dimensional representations of Miss Handicap 2010, Jasmin Rechsteiner, radio presenter and film critic Alex Oberholzer, track and field athlete Urs Kolly, blogger Nadja Schmid and actor Erwin Aljukic.

“We often go chasing after ideals instead of accepting life in all its diversity. Pro Infirmis strives especially for the acceptance of disability and the inclusion of people with disabilities,” says Mark Zumbühl, a member of the Pro Infirmis Executive Board, in describing the campaign.

See our former TV-Spots under:

Bear: http://youtu.be/zFWr-CKMWGY Gianni Blumer: http://youtu.be/Qr-xnqgpin8

Music: Lost At Sea by Dave Thomas Junior

Annie’s story.

At 21 weeks gestation, we were informed that our daughter, Annie, had a genetic condition associated with profound disabilities. Thus began the most difficult but, ultimately, most enriching journey of our lives.

We realized it was highly likely that Annie would require life-saving interventions in her infancy. From the outset, we wrestled with an agonizing, moral question: Would these interventions and the preservation of her life be in the best interests of our daughter and our family?

To make an informed decision, we began to research. We discovered children who were certainly very impaired, and we were afraid. However, as our knowledge increased, and we met more families with children deemed to be ‘severely disabled’, our fears were alleviated.

Shortly after Annie’s diagnosis, I attended the funeral of a young man with severe cerebral palsy, who had never walked or talked. The midweek service was filled beyond capacity. After the service, I spoke to his teacher. Tears fell freely from her face as she told me that her student had ‘changed her life’. How could that be?

Children with Annie’s condition seldom live into their teens, yet we have observed that when their child dies, the families are absolutely [...] continue the story

Fuller Life with Prosthetic

Melissa Stockwell sports a shiny red, white and blue prosthetic after she lost her leg to a bomb in Baghdad. Find out why she says losing a limb made her life more fulfilling, and hear how she’s gone on to compete in the Paralympics and find a new career.

On April 13, 2004, 1LT (ret) Melissa Stockwell became the first female to lose a limb during OIF earning a purple heart and a bronze star. She is a 2008 Paralympian in the sport of swimming and the current 2x Paratriathlon World Champion. Melissa is also a certified prosthetist at Scheck and Siress Prosthetics, fitting other amputees with artificial limbs, a board member on the Wounded Warrior Project and a co-founder of dare2tri Paratriathlon Club.

Choose to have fun

By John Huynh

My name is John, and I have Neurofibromatosis – Type 1.

At an early age my mother knew there was something different about me.

My family doctor knew I had NF but did not say anything because “nothing could be done about it”. Another doctor formally diagnosed me in 1987. Neurofibromatosis was a scary and unfamiliar word at the time and my mother was devastated.

School can be an unpleasant when you are different. I remember classmates calling me names such as “shit stain” and “lumpy neck”. I hated changing clothes in gym class because of my café-au-lait spots and remember going home in tears because of the teasing.

My mother treated me like a normal kid. I was allowed to go outside to play, and grounded when I did something wrong.

In high school the teasing subsided, except for one student who called me “bee stings” all year. I no longer cried, but it still hurt. In grade 11 we moved to the suburbs, a fresh start. I made new friends and started to fit in. All was well, or so I thought.

In May 1996, I started noticing pain when I walked. I lost my balance and fell unexpectedly. My friend laughed [...] continue the story

Discovering my last taboo

By Ben Davies

In this article I am going to explore the morality of paying for the company of a female or indeed male if you are a disabled person.

But first I am going to talk about relationships and the potential barriers I feel exist as a disabled person. I personally really struggle with relationships and socialising full stop, whether it’s going the pub with the boys or chatting someone up. I simply cannot do it as my confidence in this area is really low. Overall I’m ok with the boys as we talk about football and drinking, the usual stuff. But when it comes to the ladies, this is where I really struggle.

When I meet a woman I’m attracted to, I know instantly whether they are seeing me or the four wheels I’m sitting on. In my experience a lot see the wheelchair and feel uncomfortable when I start checking them out, just like any other bloke would. Then I have the added barrier of impaired speech so if I do pluck up the courage to speak to them, I get the look that says something like ‘you’re in a wheelchair and you can’t speak properly so piss off.’

The speech [...] continue the story