Disabled Children’s TV Host at the BBC Causing a Stir (really?)

Cerrie Burnell, the one-handed host of the CBeebies show on the BBC is apparently causing quite the controversy among our neighbors across the pond.

According to the CNN.com article, their chat rooms are going bonkers!

Take one dad who “lamented that Burnell being on the show forced him to have conversations with his child about disabilities.”  Sweet jumping jellybeans!  Not an honest and open conversation with your child about the diversity of people in the world around us!  How will either of you ever recover?

Is it me, or does this just make you angry?  I appaud both Ms. Burnell and the BBC for putting a strong, positive disabled role model on television for children.  Not only will disabled children watching her show be inspired and experience a part of themselves mirrored in the larger world, but non-disabled children will benefit from learning more about the disabled and having (hopefully) discussions with their parents about people with different abilities and the importance of treating everyone with love and respect.

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7 thoughts on “Disabled Children’s TV Host at the BBC Causing a Stir (really?)

  1. I have a blind husband. There are disabled kids at my daughter’s school. I wonder who I can complain to for forcing me to talk to my kids about disabilities.

    I find this whole situation rather ridiculous. If people stick their head in the sand long enough, do they think different people will go away? The only way something like this would cause nightmares is if the parents make a big deal out of it. She’s a beautiful woman with a lovely personality, from the clips I’ve seen. Certainly not nightmare inducing in my mind. At least not as much as Tellitubbies or Barney.

  2. Seriously? This is a controversy? I just don’t understand people sometimes. That quote you pulled is astonishing. Thanks for pointing this out.

  3. As a one-armed librarian who has worked with young people for a long time, I can say that no child has ever been scared by my lack of an arm. Ever. Kids are curious and mostly very, very polite and kind to me. I am beyond shocked that this would be an issue. You would think parents would be glad to have their kids exposed to people who are different in the privacy of their own home where there isn’t the potential to have their kid say something embarrassing. It’s supposed to be a teachable moment. Ugh.

  4. I applaud both the BBC & Ms Burnell for having the guts to show a positive role model to our kids. Can’t believe this is even an issue to some. A difference that makes no difference…is no difference. Her personality and stage presence are what is important.

  5. Cerrie Burnell: A courageous young lady who deserves a great deal of praise for her courage.
    I am 83 yrs. of age. At 3, I became a victim of Polio. All through my life I have run into people who have pulled their children to the side so they did see that I walked differently than them. One time I held the door for a lady and her son to leave a store. As they passed me the son asked what was the wrong with his leg. She pulled him away told him to keep quite. I stopped her and said the child asked a question that should be answered. I proceeded to explain why I walked the way I do. When a children are old enough to ask a question they are old enough for an answer. I may have embarrassed the lady but I did educate her son. I to am tired of the ignorance of some people. The school I went to was strictly for Disabled children and they stressed Independence. I am sure Ms. Burnell was taught the same.
    Frederick L, May Sr. Spanaway WA. USA
    email= flmaysr@yahoo.com

  6. My mother fell and broke both legs in 1931 at 2 and her life was changed forever. She was deprived of the education she deserved because her parents thought she was useless, and education would be a waste. she was expected to stay home and look after her sisters children. she was treated with disgust and hoped she would just hide away. What a waste. I am glad she struggled hard and survived to make a life for herself and us. she turned out to be the best mother any child could ask for. She encouraged us to not complain but turn our lemons into lemonade. She encouraged us reach for the stars. It is a pity that in this day and age we are still discriminating against people with handicap. Shame on us all

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