RESOURCES ON DWARFISM
Little People of America (LPA)
An organization that assists dwarfs with their physical and
developmental concerns resulting from short stature. In addition to medical information, FAQs, adoption information and very active chatrooms, the LPA also has a long page of links to other little people community organizations around the world.
Billy Barty Foundation
Named for the founder of LPA, the Billy Barty Foundation works to guarantee an acceptable and improved quality of life for little people through education, employment, accessibility and athletic programs.
Dwarf Athletic Association of America
DAAA was formed in 1985 to develop, promote and provide quality amateur-level athletic opportunities for dwarf athletes in the United States.
Human Growth Foundation
The HGF strives to help children and adults with disorders of growth and growth hormone through research, education, support, and advocacy.
Short Persons Support Groups
A list of discussion boards for people with or parents of children who are affected by a specific type of dwarfism.
Little People of America: Resources
The LPA website features a great glossary of terms, FAQs and links to other sources of information regarding different aspects of dwarfism.
Johns Hopkins University Hospital: Patient Guide to Achondroplasia
This helpful online pamphlet answers basic questions about achondroplasia, the most common form of dwarfism.
Johns Hopkins University Hospital: Genetics Tutorial
The information in this tutorial does not substitute for the information one would obtain from a genetics counselor, but this tutorial explains the genetic abnomalities that lead to short statured conditions.
Articles & Commentary
Dwarfs, Little People and the M-word
This page on film critic Roger Ebert’s website documents an email exchange between Ebert and the actor Danny Woodburn. Woodburn wrote to Ebert to complain about his use of the word “midget” in reference to the character Woodburn played in Death to Smoochy.
(Find more great resources on this topic in the Also on PBS and NPR page.)
Do We Really Want This? Little People of America Inc. Comes to Terms with Genetic Testing
The gene responsible for achondroplasia was identified in 1994. In 1995, Ruth Ricker, a former president of LPA, proposed this project to study the ethical and social implications of genetic screening for the dwarf and short stature community. Read her proposal and a follow-up position statement on genetic screening issued by LPA in 1996.
Reproductive Genetic Testing: What America Thinks
This report presents the first look at the largest-ever series of social science research studies to learn what Americans know, think and feel about the use and regulation of reproductive genetic testing — carrier testing, prenatal genetic diagnosis and preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD). These studies were conducted by the Genetics and Public Policy Center between October 2002 and August 2004, include 21 focus groups, 62 in-depth interviews, two surveys with a combined sample size of over 6000 people, and both in-person and online Genetic Town Halls.
National Human Genome Research Institute
Geneticists at the National Institute of Health (NIH) are working on cutting edge research. The National Human Genome Research Institute began as the National Center for Human Genome Research (NCHGR), which was established in 1989 to carry out the role of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in the International Human Genome Project (HGP).
BBC: Future Human — The Future of Human Reproduction
News articles about cloning and designer children lead us to wonder how couples of the future will make babies. Will they rely on sex as our parents and grandparents did, or will some suite of science-fiction technologies supplant what we think of as “natural” human reproduction, largely moving it out of the bedroom and into the laboratory?
ALSO ON PBS AND NPR
Fred Friendly Seminar: Our Genes, Our Choices
Find out more about the history of genetics, the ethical dilemmas involved with genetic screening, cloning and transplanting, and real-life scenarios in which difficult choices have to be made. (2003)
NOVA — Science Now: Little People of Flores
The remains of three-foot-tall humans are discovered on a remote Indonesian island. (April 2005)
Religion & Ethics Newsweekly: The Ethics of Genetic Testing
As a result of the Human Genome Project, we are now able to locate genetic mutations and know much more about a person’s medical future than ever before. And this new knowledge has given rise to many medical, legal, and ethical questions. (August 31, 2001)
Evolution: The Mind’s Big Bang
Learn more about Darwin an about the earliest humans. Participate in a poll by weighing in on the question, “Should we create babies by design?” (2001)
Faith and Reason
Find out more about genetic screening, evolution and ethics at this older PBS website. (1995)
Race: The Power of an Illusion
An interview with Pilar Ossorio, a legal scholar, microbiologist and bioethicist who teaches at the University of Wisconsin – Madison. She is a leading expert on the ethical implications of genetic research. (2003)
NOVA – Cracking the Code of Life: Manipulating Genes: How Much is Too Much?
In this interview, Dr. Philip Kitcher, professor of philosophy at Columbia University and the author of The Lives to Come: The Genetic Revolution and Human Possibilities (Simon & Schuster, 1996) speaks his mind on some of the controversial issues now under discussionwith regard to genetic testing, therapy and enhancement. (Updated April 2003)
Hearing Voices: A Homeless Romanian Dwarf
Writer and anthropologist Alyssa Goodman reports on an encounter with a homeless dwarf in Romania. The piece was produced by Larry Massett of Hearing Voices radio project. (April 20, 2005)
Morning Edition: Research News
News broke last October that archeologist had discovered a hobbit-like creature on an Indonesian island. Now neurologists have examined the creature’s brain and believe it to be a lost relative of modern humans, just a bit smaller. But the debate is far from over. (March 4, 2005)
All Things Considered: ‘Elf Season’ and the Annual Degradation of a Minority
When commentator John Moe’s daughter was diagnosed with dwarfism, he began to look at the portrayal of elves at holiday time in a new way.
Day to Day: Actor Peter Dinklage
NPR’s Karen Grigsby Bates talks with Peter Dinklage, star of the film The Station Agent, about his character’s struggle to overcome the social isolation of being a dwarf. (October 17, 2003)
Weekend Edition: Genetic Ethics: ‘Against Perfection’
An article in this April’s Atlantic Monthly makes the argument that the quest for genetic perfection through bioengineering may degrade the human will and the appreciation of life itself. NPR’s Liane Hansen speaks with the article’s author, Michael Sandel, professor of government at Harvard University. (March 28, 2004)
Tavis Smiley: Eugenics and the ‘War Against the Weak’
Have you ever wondered where Adolf Hitler got the idea for eugenics? In his new book, War Against the Weak, author Edwin Black asserts that it came from the United States. Black talks with NPR’s Tavis Smiley about the hidden history of American eugenics. (September 18, 2003)