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Szymkowiak’s picture book follows the adventures of four disabled characters

Prominent disability rights activist, Jamie Szymkowiak, launches the publication of his first children’s book at an event in Glasgow today (Wednesday 27 September). The Kelvinhill Kids Visit The Kelpies is the first in a series of picture books which follows the adventures of four disabled children across Scotland.

The lack of disabled representation in public life, including TV, radio and politics, inspired Szymkowiak to write a book that disabled children can related to. Aimed at 3 to 6 year old’s, Szymkowiak believes The Kelvinhill Kids is a great way of introducing non-disabled children to disability.

The book uses Dyslexie font to ensure it is accessible to parents and children with dyslexia.

Speaking ahead of the book’s launch, Szymkowiak said:

“As a disabled person, the lack of representation of disabled people in public life is both a source of frustration and inspiration – so I am delighted that everyone can finally meet The Kelvinhill Kids. Of course, disabled people are not just lacking in children’s literature. Report after report finds that disabled people are underrepresented in politics, on TV, on radio and even in our places of work.

“Last Christmas, I went looking for a book for my youngest brother, who has Down’s syndrome, and could not find a single picture book featuring a disabled main character. I was motivated me to write The Kelvinhill Kids as I think it’s extremely important for disabled children to have characters they can relate to. I also think The Kelvinhill Kids is useful way for parents to introduce disability to non-disabled children.”

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Notes for Editors:

  • Contact to arrange interviews with Jamie Szymkowiak: Joslyn Dickson, Agent at Hoolet Publishing, on 07734392582 or by reply
  • Watermarked copy of The Kelvinhill Kids Visit The Kelpies enclosed (not for distribution)
  • Photos attached, free to use

About the author:

Jamie Szymkowiak is a disability rights activist who founded the One in Five campaign in 2015 to boost the participation of disabled people in politics. One in Five was a cross party campaign that successfully campaigned for the Access to Elected Office Fund to be created in Scotland. Jamie is a public speaker and commentator focusing on employment and disability.

Hoolet Publishing website with character bios:

‘Disabled people and over-50s most under-represented in broadcasting’

‘Ofcom criticises UK broadcasters for ‘woeful’ lack of diversity’

‘Where are all the disabled MSPs?’