OP details various first-hand accounts of disabled children across the UK who have been edited in their school photos. This is not a new phenomenon as one of the accounts is from the 1970s.

Some quotes from the article:

Behind the erasure of disabled children lies the frightening belief that they don’t belong in ‘perfect’ pictures – or public spaces.

If that feels somewhat chilling, it is because it should. Few of us – even at a time when someone, somewhere will always find a way to excuse bigotry – cannot understand the connotations of wanting to pretend disabled children don’t exist.

Children have had their disability aids removed by photographers. Other children have been altered with editing software or banned from their class photos entirely.

That is the thing with true ugliness. It does not come in the shape of a wheelchair, a cleft lip, white cane or scars. It sits in prejudice, digging and clawing its way into our culture until one day the nice man who is taking your child’s school photo asks her to hide her hearing aids. That this prejudice will follow these children into adulthood is perhaps the bleakest part. If only society had the desire to edit that out.

  • JhoOP
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    3 months ago

    That this prejudice will follow these children into adulthood is perhaps the bleakest part.

    This is the thing that horrifies me the most about this story. Adults, schools, and parents are setting an abominable example to these children.

    I can only imagine the confusion and shame a child must experience when being told to hide their insulin pumps, their wheelchairs, their hearing aids, etc. And I’m frightened to think of the pupils who feel empowered to “other” their classmates because they are being “othered” by the adults. It’s a clear example of how we teach children bigotry.

    An experience from my childhood which still sticks with me to this day is from when attending an ultra-orthodox church. I was maybe 5 years old and tried to follow my dad into a restricted area and being stopped by the priest, being told “sorry, only boys are allowed back here”.

    As a child I was taught that adults are always right, and to listen to them. This may very well be my earliest memory of being taught sexism, which only got reinforced throughout my life due to trusting the adults at this church and through trusting my very religious right-wing father. Even as a kid I recognised that what I was witnessing was unfair, but I did not have the power, the understanding, nor the will to challenge this unfairness because the adults must know what they’re doing… right?

  • BrightCandle
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    3 months ago

    People don’t realise how common this is in our society unless you are a minority. Its everywhere. The state abuses disabled people via the DWP, the doctors do the same to disabled people by refusing to treat or put secretly DNRs on their records. Access is awful everywhere and people with wheelchairs fail to get on buses because the spot is taken by a pram which its not allowed to be used for, then there is the removal of accessible bridges for the train network replaced with ones that aren’t accessible, the lifts barely work when they are installed. Then there is all the attacks and verbal abuse on the streets from random people and so much more besides. Its everywhere in every place a minority would go.

    Despite whatever self reported level of discrimination the UK gets as one of the best in the world any minority in this country can tell you how many times a day they are abused by someone else. Its every single day. The Police, NHS and other state functions all do it and there are no consequences for any of it. It is so common infact its not news and rarely makes the news, this one is odd for making it into the press because this happens in schools across the country every year and it certainly happened at my school photos.

    It is hard to accept this basic reality as someone who isn’t a constant victim of our society but if you listen to the people who are the victims of this stuff its relentless.

  • @[email protected]
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    243 months ago

    This is a legitimately horrifying story. Victorian stuff, if this had happened even thirty years ago I’d have been shocked.

  • AutoTL;DRB
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    63 months ago

    This is the best summary I could come up with:


    As one teacher put it to me, “The reason I want to speak out is that the recent issue in Scotland is not a one-off mistake by a rogue photographer but rather a systemic culture of creating ‘perfect’ pictures without any disabilities shown.”

    Barely a few hours before the school story broke, the actor Sally Phillips spoke of how her son Olly, who has Down’s syndrome, was denied access to a trampoline park.

    The organisers – who allegedly told Phillips someone with his condition would need a letter from a GP to gain entry – said they were “deeply sorry” Olly could not take part and was left disappointed, and that they were following safety guidance from British Gymnastics.

    These are the same attitudes that see Send pupils left to languish at home without a school place or a wheelchair user forced to wet herself on a train because public transport is still not accessible.

    It is the man who leers at a woman sat in a wheelchair at a bar to inform her, “You’d be pretty if you weren’t in that chair, love.” It is the troll on X who sees a disabled celebrity on television and picks up his iPhone to tell her people like her shouldn’t be allowed out.

    It sits in prejudice, digging and clawing its way into our culture until one day the nice man who is taking your child’s school photo asks her to hide her hearing aids.


    The original article contains 1,149 words, the summary contains 244 words. Saved 79%. I’m a bot and I’m open source!

  • @steeznson
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    13 months ago

    Is this ‘perfect picture’ stuff related to the changing nature of a photographer’s job? Now that everyone has access to high quality camera equipment and can take photos with their phones. Maybe their job description has shifted from capturing the moment to creating some kid of artificial pefection with virtual (and real life) airbrushing.

  • Rentlar
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    3 months ago

    This is me in every ID photo where my glasses need to be removed:

    When you take 20 seconds thinking about how a wheelchair user can get from A to B you quickly realize how much you take stairs for granted. All these ableist things are practically invisible until you really put yourself in their shoes.