Facing daily challenges of being small

Winding through the hallways at Mount Royal University, Melissa Spencer, 20, stands out for her unique height. She weaves her way through the crowd, standing at 4 feet, near the height of most people’s elbows. She is often mistaken for an elementary student.

Every day, Spencer deals with the challenges of facing a world that is built for adults when she is the size of the average eight-year-old.

She has an unnamed condition that affects her eyesight, making it necessary to get assistance in school with organization between classes and assignments. As a young woman who looks like she could be a child, getting help at school is only the first challenge.

She finds it more difficult dealing with being treated like a child or at least differently than others. She has gotten herself involved in the community but is very adamant in choosing events and activities that are not just meant for people with disabilities. Spencer, her sister Jess and her mother Sheila Crabbe have been advocates of integration between people with disabilities and those without to show that there is not a “normal” group to fit into: that “normal” is subjective.

Produced by Tatum Anderson
Extra camera assitance by Jess Spencer

tanderson@cjournal.ca