Little People of America
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LPA was founded in 1957 by Billy Barty when he informally called upon people of short stature to join him in a get-together in Reno, Nevada. The original association was known as "Midgets of America." The name was later changed to "Midgets and Dwarfs of America" when the people with dwarfism complained that there were more dwarfs than midgets. "Little People" became the accepted term because, again, the people with dwarfism said there were more dwarfs than midgets so it should be "Dwarfs and Midgets of America." "Midgets of America" was the name until 1960. 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 titled LPA Today.
LPA is the first North American 'little people' organization, with the Little People of Canada incorporating in Canada in 1984.
"Midget" as slur
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 multiple uses of the word "midget" and 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".
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".
- Chavez, Paul (24 December 2000). "Hollywood Actor Billy Barty Dies at Age 76". ABC news. Retrieved 7 July 2014.
- "Big Enough". PBS. United States. 28 June 2005. Retrieved 9 April 2010.
- "LPA, the "M" Word and the Celebrity Apprentice". Little People of America. Retrieved 20 February 2010.
- McAdams, Deborah (July 6, 2009). "Little People File Complaints With FCC". Television Broadcast. Retrieved 20 February 2010.
- Korpai, Jimmy. "A Network for Change". Retrieved 20 February 2010.
- Little People of America Web site, 2009.