Little People of America
Little People of America (LPA) is a non-profit organization which provides support, resources and information to individuals with dwarfism and their families. Membership in LPA is limited to people 4' 10" and under, or those with a diagnosed form of dwarfism, their families, or those who "demonstrate a well-founded interest in issues relating to dwarfism".
LPA was informally started in 1957 when Billy Barty called upon people of short stature to join him in a get-together in Reno, Nevada. That original meeting of 21 people evolved into Little People of America, a group which as of 2010 has more than 6,800 members. LPA has 73 local chapters which meet regularly as well as an annual weeklong conference. They publish a quarterly publication national newsletter, LPA Today.
LPA is the first North American 'little people' organization, with the Little People of Canada (LPC) incorporating in Canada in 1984.
During the 2009 National Conference of the Little People of America, a press conference was held to make a public statement regarding the use of the word "midget", which is considered offensive by many people with dwarfism. The statement was made in direct response to an episode of Celebrity Apprentice which featured a multiple uses of the word "midget" and a justification of it by one of the celebrities, Jesse James. Members of the LPA have filed a complaint with the Federal Communications Commission over the use of the word midget on broadcast television. The complaint said that "the word 'midget' is considered offensive to the dwarfism community and should not be seen or heard on TV or radio".
- Little People of America Web site, 2009.