Why Jewel Wrote about Maggie?

Here’s the deal: I walk with an elbow crutch.

No, scratch that.

Read: I stride about with an oh-so-chic fashionable HOT PINK elbow crutch!

Naturally, this gets me attention. First of all, people automatically notice that I’m physically different. Children are especially curious about the stick that supports me. Some stare. Others point. A few ask questions. More often than not, it’s their parents or caregivers who get embarrassed. Not me. I’m always quick to respond to inquiring minds. With a smile to boot!

Now, don’t get me wrong. Not all people with disabilities are as open as me. In the same way, abilities vary…. so do personalities. Some people are shy. Some folks are boisterous. Some are in-between. What does this mean? You can’t just approach any Tom, Dick and Harriet and start asking them about their disability/disabilities. You have to take feelings and respect into consideration.

This is precisely why I wrote: “What Do You Use to Help Your Body?” Parents, teachers, librarians and caregivers can use this book to teach and explain how various assistive devices help people with disabilities. This story can be used in the comfort of your home, library or classroom. It’s eye-opening to say the least.

However, my motivation for writing this story doesn’t end there. I purposely used a multicultural cast of physically different characters from all economic backgrounds. My intention is to demonstrate that disabilities are a human condition. Not simply belonging to one race or ethnic group. Last, but not least, every character is contributing to society in his or her unique way. After all, being physically challenged doesn’t make you physically dead.

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