It's a striking image; hundreds of wheelchairs, each empty but for a bright blue school bag.
The installation - in Prishtina, Kosovo - has been organised by UNICEF as a timely reminder that, as the world looks forward to post-Coronavirus life, it must make sure that disabled children are not left in lockdown for the rest of their lives.
UNICEF Kosovo describes the installation, which will run from 17-25th May, as "a call to decision makers, civil society, media and private sector for greater inclusion of children living with disabilities".
They point out that "the isolation and social distancing that we are all experiencing... is what children with disabilities go through their entire life. As Kosovo gradually returns to normalcy from Covid19, it is critical for society to help end isolation of children with disabilities for good. A resilient, new and better normal for an inclusion society for all".
How? UNICEF's Kosovo office has proposed some simple, practical steps - many of which disabled people have been calling for. They include, for example:
- adaptation of inclusive teaching practices;
- provision of assistive technologies and devices for all children in preschools and schools; and
- accessible public spaces, schools and businesses for all.
In our last blog post, we looked at the "new normal" and echo the hopes of UNICEF that it is something we can shape. It has the potential to be better than what we leave behind if we listen to a range of people and consider disability, inclusion and accessibility when considering what we want life to look like moving forward.
To read more about UNICEF Kosovo's installation, click here.