Play the theme song:
Watching the way disabled people, particularly children are portrayed on television and in the media, dad Daniel White was becoming increasingly frustrated. The 43-year-old illustrator knew from experience that disabled young people aren’t shy, retiring creatures who should be handled with kid gloves. His nine year old daughter Emily was born with spina bifida and hydrocephalus. Emily is in a wheelchair but nothing stops her from playing basketball and football and roaring round the home.
Dan has created a comic called The Department of Ability, based on five disabled superheroes whose disabilities are actually their superpowers. The colourful characters which stem from Dan’s love of sci-fi leap off the page.
The stories are packed full of fast-paced action and humour. Daniel had looked and looked for a disabled icon for his daughter and found none, so he came up with his own superheroes and turned his daughter Emily in to a crime fighting comic book superhero to inspire other disabled children. They all have special powers and are united to fight evil and prejudice by using their disabilities as powers.
The Department of Ability will be published at the end of 2016 so privileged to be part of this project .
It features the following characters that are all united to fight evil and prejudice, using their disabilities as powers:
Emily – based on Daniel’s daughter, who has fierce upper body strength and a flying wheelchair.
Azzazatz – a crash-landed alien who uses a strong mechanical arm.
Pawsy – a cheetah who moves like lightning with his artificial running limb.
Claypole – a blind ghost who uses his senses and white sticks, not just for finding his way.
Billy – the team mascot and dog who has rear wheels and a robotic tail.
Team Strongbones – a team of nine children with super powers led by our youth ambassador Myles.
The team use their disabilities as their superpowers which means it’s totally accessible for everyone. Daniel and Strongbones know this comic can help change public perceptions of disabled people and most importantly give disabled children superheroes they can relate to.
Daniel wants to break down barriers with this comic and change the stigma surrounding people in wheelchairs after noticing there were no disabled role models for children regularly on TV. Daniel hopes one day there will be more people with disabilities shown on TV who aren’t just defined by their disability.
Disabled children for so long have not seen any positive representation in the media that they consume eg Comics, heroes and television. This is the opportunity to start a change by presenting disability as a totally accessible, powerful concept, that will and must be the start of total inclusion across the media spectrum. For so long now children have seen their representation as always in need or trying to educate. This is past, they want strong, independent and powerful representation because that’s what they show people every day and they deserve a bite of the media apple. Strongbones are now at the forefront of this idea, the only ones who need convincing now are the ones in the magazine/TV hubs and when they read our comic the old negative views and exclusion will be blown away.”
The Comic carries the slogan: ‘Born to be different, born to save the world.’