“[People with disabilities] is the largest minority group in the country. But yet we do not see ourselves represented. We’re in less than one percent of TV shows and movies. Five years ago, I was sick of those same statistics. And I decided I wanted to take action.”
–Nic Novicki, Creator of the Easterseals Disability Film Challenge
Game of Thrones’ Peter Dinklage, NCIS: Los Angeles’ Linda Hunt
and Seinfeld’s Danny Woodburn also are Little People.
A little person is one of the more than 200 medical conditions known as dwarfism. Dwarfism is a medical or genetic condition that usually results in an adult height of 4’10” or shorter, although in some cases a person with a form of dwarfism may be slightly taller than that. The condition that causes dwarfism may also cause other symptoms. The average height of an adult with dwarfism is 4’0, but typical heights range from 2’8” to 4’8”.
Do not crouch or kneel when speaking to a Little Person. Appropriate terms include little person, person of short stature, dwarf or LP, though it is most respectful to refer to someone just by name. The word “midget” is considered highly offensive. A little person may choose not to identify as a person with a disability or part of the disability community.
Because dwarfism can be caused by so many different genetic or medical conditions, it is difficult to get an accurate number of individuals affected. However, according to Understanding Dwarfism, it has been estimated that 30,000 people in the United States are affected.
National organizations for little people:
- Little People of America (LPA) is a national nonprofit organization that provides support and information to people of short stature and their families. LPA has more than 6000 members across the United States and internationally. LPA provides social interaction, parent and peer support, medical support and education, scholarships and grants. Dwarfism cuts across all religions, ethnicities, and economic levels.
- The Human Growth Foundation’s objectives vary with the opportunities to provide support, services and education to children with disorders of growth and adults with growth hormone deficiency, and to the medical profession; and, with the availability of funding and communications media to support the programs and activities, and general office operations necessary to provide them.
- The Understanding Dwarfism Program’s website is the foundation for a larger educational and awareness program. It can be used as a tool in schools, social discussions, for new parents and in many other areas as a central hub for different educational opportunities. The website is designed to educate the general public with a simple and direct approach focusing on educating and offering people the opportunity to gain a better understanding.