Emily’s catchphrase: ‘Eat my wheels!’
Department of Ability, an upcoming comic book series, was created by Dan White. His daughter Emily has spinda bifida, hydrocephalus and a love of superheroes, yet she couldn’t find any representations of disabled characters in her favourite books or TV shows.
This was when her father Dan decided to create a comic strip featuring Emily, with her wheelchair as one of her superpowers. He says about the comic project that it’s ‘not intended to lecture’, but intended to show that ‘Children with disabilities are funny, exciting, happy, sad, mischievous, rude, caring. Just like any other child.’
All the superheroes in Department of Ability have various disabilities, with humans, animals and aliens with superpowers being recruited into the D.O.A team. Joining Emily in the Department of Ability are Pawsy the fame-loving cheetah with a prosthetic leg, Billy the faithful dog who was abandoned by his old master, run over by a car and saved by the hero, Claypole the scientist, who became blind after an experiment gone wrong, along with many more.
Emily and Dan inspired other disabled children to create superheroes with a difference; watch their video by Scope here.
Dan and Emily also talk more about the comic, and the ‘chronic lack of disabled people in the media’, in this video made this year.
Find out more and support the project on the website, Departmentofability.com, including the Department of Ability theme tune, written by and performed by Sarah Renehan/Calling Utopia.