Since it was created, the #visible campaign has organically grown into something I would have never thought it would become. It originally started as a tool for writers to use to find out more about disabilities, to create more realistic characters.
But as the years have progressed I find myself recognising an area of support for disabled writers and readers on Wattpad- and the writing world in general- that is not being met, and which I hope, here at visible, we can start to address.
The main aim of the campaign still remains the same- getting the invisible and taboo topics often avoided in mainstream literature, visible! including all disabilities and illness, both mental and physical.
Inside and outside of Wattpad, books and stories containing the topic of disability are lacking- especially where the main character has a disability that the plot doesn't revolve around.
As someone who suffers from both visible and invisible illnesses, I know how hard and frustrating it can be for people to both take my illness seriously and respect them when they do. The romantic and often harmful stereotyped image projected by the media doesn't help.
The main way for this to change- for people who have otherwise been invisible and unrepresented in books, films and TV shows- Is for them to have a voice. A way to give them a voice is to introduce more diverse characters into stories of all genres, for all ages.
Teenagers and adults who suffer from mental conditions such as anxiety, OCD and depression (among many others) have no strong characters to tell them that there is someone going through exactly the same struggles. There is no character to aspire to be like, who accepts themselves and can stand alongside the heroes of literature, telling them that it is OK to be who they are.
Getting characters with disabilities into stories that serve no purpose to the plot is the first step in making people with disabilities and illnesses feel like its OK to be who they are. Show the world the- albeit fictional- people who have achieved great things or aided, even led, adventures and battles. As well as normalise the acceptance and adaptations needed in society that are currently being ignored and forgotten.
Not only will it help bring confidence to young children and let adults know they are not alone, it will also help educate able bodied people about the struggles these characters and therefore real people face.
Our second aim here at visible is helping disabled writers and readers access the right tools, support and information they may need in order to pen their masterpiece or read their weight in words.
There are many tools that can help everyone write a book- whether blind, unable to type, read or struggle with forming complete sentences. By providing this information in a broad form, knowing that you can message me directly for more one to one help, I hope visible can help bring confidence to someone who thought that they would never be able to write their own stories, or were struggling to do so.
There will be featured articles from disabled authors who have used technology to break down the barriers in front of them. Articles from industry professionals who can educate you on what technology you should be looking at and charities who help provide access to this help.
And your stories!
Visible wouldn't be where it was today without your help, support and passion which should be celebrated! Our anthology and poetry book is always open for submissions, and it's through keeping these books active here on Wattpad that we can spread the word.
Here is to another fantastic year!
YOU ARE READING
The OFFICIAL campaign book of the #visible campaign. Author interviews. Book reviews and recommendations. The Disability Directory- where you can contact people who know about certain conditions and illnesses. Interactive chapters. And so much mor...