dwarfism is not only about being smaller than everyone else. Little
people are, by definition and from birth, people who have functional
limitations and handicaps. They are limited not only medically by the
various complications that often accompany dwarfism (see the section Problems and Complications),
but also architecturally by the world around them built for much larger
As a result,
in many every day life situations, little people meet difficulties
height of furniture and accessories, service counters, ATMs, parking
meters, store shelves, etc.
height of steps in buildings or on public transit.
weight of doors in buildings and the metro.
width/breadth of furniture, such as reaching the faucet across the
from walking long distances because shorter legs require more steps.
deterioration of health primarily due to the premature use of bones.
to carry grocery bags without them dragging on the ground.
risk when walking outside, for example, crossing the street or a
parking lot where cars cannot see them.
attitudes, constant prejudice, mean looks, and sometimes insults.
teaching people what it’s like to be a little person, we sometimes ask
people of regular stature to do the following experiment:
- Put an
object in the middle of the table
- Get on
- Hold your
elbows in close to your body
reach the object without standing up or moving your upper arms
Try it and
you will find yourself for a few moments in the shoes of a person who
has disproportionate dwarfism (with shorter arms). With that in mind,
it is possible to overcome such difficulties and obstacles, and to
diminish their impact on the quality of life of little people. At the
Quebec Association of Little People, meetings, whether formal or
informal, and discussions are very important because they allow people
to share useful information.