Amber Doucette knows the suffering that bullied people with disabilities experience so well, she wrote the book on it. Well, illustrated it, anyway.
“I’m kind of an amateur artist – I sell art online, but I’ve never actually done such a big project. I was really excited,” Doucette said Friday at the launch of The Fountain of Harmony, a children’s book she created with Kelsey McCormick, Adam Jones, Trevor Murphy and Briona Campbell.
The book grew out of a project headed by reachAbility, a Halifax charity for people with all kinds of disabilities.
“When we chose the project, at first I don’t think we thought it was really realistic. But then when we wrote the story, we saw how it could come together and it inspired me to meet the deadlines so we could get it done,” she said.
“I’m hoping it will show some kids that it’s not right to treat people differently just because they’re not exactly how you are. Everyone’s different; it doesn’t matter.”
Project coordinator Emily Anderson said the book is available free for teachers and other education professionals who want a first-hand teaching tool about discrimination and bullying.
“The four co-writers are all living with disabilities and have been victims of bullying and the stigma in society,” Anderson explained, noting they started the book in November.
“We always hoped to get to this stage. There have been some struggles working as a group, but we’re definitely excited.”
The message of Fountain of Harmony is broad, she said: “The book is about acceptance – learning to accept yourself and also others in society, whether they have a disability or not.”