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No Limits for Children with Disabilities

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I have brittle bones, but it doesn't mean I am not capable. Sometimes people are quick to judge and they decide what I can and can't do before I even speak. They don't know how to handle me or my disability. I'm in a mainstream school, however, I have to have a teaching assistant and sometimes that can be quite isolating. I need help for some things - for instance, I don't have very good vision - but I am perfectly capable of getting involved. Ignorance is the root of most of the problems I come across.

Unicef's new State of the World's Children report, released today, which focuses on children with disabilities, outlines why our focus must be on what everyone can achieve, rather than what they can't do. The research finds that by being more accepting, and including everyone, we could produce huge benefits for our whole society.

Children with disabilities are some of the most disadvantaged people in the world. They are often last in line for services like healthcare and education and are at greater risk of being poor than other children. They are four times more likely to be subject to violence than their peers. It's time we did something about it.

Speaking at the launch of Unicef's report in Vietnam will be my friend Phuong Anh. Although I live in Carlisle, England and Anh lives thousands of miles away in Hanoi, Vietnam, we are great friends. I met her on twitter. She tweeted something about having brittle bones and I tweeted her back to say I have the condition too. Social networks are incredible. We have the same type of brittle bones. Now we keep in touch via skype and messaging.

I know Anh sometimes experiences problems in Vietnam. She can't always move around easily at her school and that can be really frustrating as she feels different. We talk about everything. Sometimes we discuss things like dealing with pain and it's nice to have someone to talk to who has the same condition.

Generally, we both cope in a very similar way - through a positive outlook. It's not very useful to get angry and we're just like lots of other girls our age - talking about boys and One Direction. I've learned a lot about life in Vietnam from Anh. We don't let our disability hold us back. I follow the example of other people in the public eye - like Nick Vujicic, from Australia, who was born without limbs and is a motivational speaker. He has embraced his disability and achieved so much.

Anh is also a source of inspiration. Not long after I met her in 2011, she auditioned for Vietnam's Got Talent and she went really far in the competition. I watched her on youtube and she let me know the backstage gossip. She started to get recognised by people in the street and she really helped challenge attitudes towards young people with disabilities. Personally, in the future I'd like to make films as I'll be starting a BTEC in broadcast and media next year. I've always wanted to make a documentary on my condition and meet other people and see how they cope with it.

If I could change anything in the world, I'd make people more aware about disability in general. People shouldn't be mistreated because they are born a certain way or end up with a particular condition. If everyone were included and treated the same, we could achieve whatever we put our mind to. I am determined to set a good example and to encourage understanding. Attitudes and actions have to change.

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