International Day of Acceptance 2020

Over the weekend we’ve had Winnie-The-Pooh day and National Popcorn day…there really does seem to be a “day” for everything lately. But here’s one that we came across that we feel is definitely worth celebrating; International Day of Acceptance.

Today is a day dedicated to social acceptance of disability and to honour the late Annie Hopkins founder of 3E Love (Embrace. Educate. Empower. Love Life) and creator of the international symbol of acceptance (with a heart shape as the wheel on a wheelchair).

You can find out more about the International Day of Acceptance here.

The word acceptance can mean so much in the lives of children with juvenile arthritis and their families (or indeed people living with other chronic conditions). This can be right at the start of the journey - accepting the diagnosis and coming to terms with it, because some families may not even be aware that children can get arthritis at the time that their child is diagnosed.

It can be difficult to accept that life is going to be different from here on with appointments, treatment, medications, tests and therapies becoming the norm.

It may be hard to accept the hope of living a normal life again, although with successful treatment we see many children with JIA living full and happy lives.

There are times we have to accept a change of plan when there’s an unexpected flare up. Due to the nature of JIA we come to accept that there are good days and bad days.

There may be days when we need to accept more help than we’d ordinarily need and other days when we’d like others to accept our independence.

And of course we want to be accepted for who we are. We don’t want to be defined by our condition.

We want our schools to accept our children and the needs that they may have because of their condition without it being seen as a ‘problem’. We want friends that are accepting and understanding of us and our situation.

Some of our children may be wheelchair users, or need crutches. This may be most of the time or only some of the time. We long for the day when there is enough acceptance and understanding to avoid judgement about a child who is able to play with their peers at lunchtime but may have been in pain and unable to walk earlier that morning. That is what life with JIA can be like. Variable.

So today we stand with all those celebrating International Day of Acceptance… “Social acceptance is the key… not the pity and ignorance with which she (Annie) grew up. Embrace diversity. Educate your community. Empower each other. Love life!” (Quote from