Emily White was born with Spina Bifida, a condition where the spine does not develop properly and leaving a gap in the spine. She is 10 years old now, and she uses a wheelchair to move around.
Like any child she loves to play sports, spend time with friends, read comics, and watch TV.
Emily couldn't see any characters in her comics or TV show who looked like her.
Her dad, Dan White explains to the Huffington Post, “I remember Emily looking up at me with a perplexed look on her face and saying, ‘I think that there aren't any people with wheelchairs on TV because they aren't allowed’, and this made me realize how serious this was. There weren't any characters that represent Emily and children like her and I wanted to change that.”
Then he decided to do something about it.
He created a comic starring Emily as a superhero. In "The Department of Ability", all of the superheroes have disabilities and use them as powers:
- Emily who has incredible upper body strength and a flying wheelchair.
- Claypole: an hyper intelligent and blind scientist
- Billy: a dog with carbon weels and a bionic, radio transmitting tail
- Pawsy: an hyper fast cheetah with a prosthetic leg
- Azazzatz: an intelligent extraterrestrial with a super strength bionic arm
They use their abilities to defend justice, and save the world from the forces of extraterrestrial evil.
After failing to attract interest from traditional comic-book publishers, Dan White launched a request for crowdfunding to self-publish the book. In addition, the publication and the distribution for the first edition of 'The Department of Ability is being paid for by the Strongbones Charity and Dan is hoping that the comic will impact the way disability is treated in the media.
Find out more about The Department of Ability here.
To find out about how you can help make the comic book a success, click here for the crowdfunding website.