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Dad Sets Out To Create Book Series For Kids With Disabilities And We’re All Cheering.

a little girl named emerson jordan smiling for a photo at disneyworld and the front cover of the children's book "rae's first day" by emerson's dad, danny jordan

Children with disabilities aren’t represented nearly enough in the books they read or the shows they watch, but Danny Jordan is doing everything he can to change that.

Inspiration struck when he and his wife found out that their daughter Emerson would be born with a limb difference. The very next day after getting this news, a title idea for a book series came to him: “The Capables.”

“When we first found out Emerson was going to be born with an upper limb difference, it was shocking,” Danny said. “As a first-time dad-to-be and a storyteller at heart, I just wanted to do whatever I could to contribute to a world that is more inclusive and empowering and educated when it comes to disability.”

To help make his new dream a reality, Danny launched a Kickstarter in 2020. In only three days, enough money had been raised to publish the book!

Although this was his first time writing a book, Danny was far from alone in the process. To make sure the stories he brings to life encourage disability pride and help kids with their self-esteem and awareness, he created an advisory board full of people to guide him.

“‘The Capables‘ is an inclusive children’s book series about a group of kid superheroes, all of whom have a difference or a disability and their superpowers are activated through empowerment,” he said.

Each installment will feature a new protagonist with a different disability and a superpower that goes along with it. The first installment, “Rae’s First Day,” features a girl named Rae, who has an upper limb difference like Emerson.

No matter their special powers, one thing will remain constant: The villains in these stories are the experiences, not the people.

“Kids oftentimes don’t think of other kids being scary, they think of events that are scary to them. It could be the first day of school,” Danny said. “It’s really about things that are scary for kids and ‘The Capables’ using their superpowers to help themselves and others navigate those scary events.”

Since “Rae’s First Day” was published, it has received an immense amount of positive feedback and even some awards. Best of all, children and adults with disabilities are getting to see themselves represented in ways they may never have experienced before.

“I just think this is such a fantastic opportunity in this series to get the idea of disability pride into the next generation, and save them a lot of time and hurt and heartache that maybe I went through as I tried to find and search for my own disability pride,” said Nicole Kelley, a former Miss Iowa and “The Capables” advisory board member.

Seeing so much positivity come from the first book has been encouraging, but the most meaningful feedback for Danny has come from his own daughter, who absolutely adores Rae.

“Seeing my daughter being able to hold a book where the hero looks like her, that has been my goal from day one,” Danny said. “To see her looking at this book, calling out Rae’s name and smiling and laughing as she navigates her story is the greatest sense of joy I will ever know.”

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