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Cartoonist inspired by daughter with spina bifida creates comic strip where disabled superheroes save the world

Video report by ITV News correspondent Sally Lockwood.

A cartoonist who felt his disabled daughter had "nothing to relate to" in the entertainment world has created a comic strip where disabled superheroes save the world.

Emily White was born with spina bifida, a condition where the spine does not develop properly, leaving a gap in the spine.

Her father Dan, from Portsmouth, has created a comic strip - the Department of Ability - featuring a gang of superheroes who use their disabilities as their superpowers.

He hopes the comics will help people see that disabled children do not have to be held back by life-changing conditions.

The cartoon is being launched in Hamley's in central London on Sunday 26 June, 2016.

The colouring book Credit: ITV News

Her father Dan, 44, said the "lightbulb moment" to create the comic was when Emily was given her first wheelchair age three.

He said: "The look on her face of absolute freedom as she started darting around the lounge, touching this, feeling that. There were things she didn't have access to before she could pick and touch.

"She discovered the wonderful world of television and books and I desperately looked for something she could relate to in a positive manner but I couldn't find anything."

It was then Dan decided to create something that Emily could "really get into".

He said he has had interest from Stan Lee, the man behind Marvel heroes including Spider-Man, the X-Men, Iron Man, Thor and the Hulk, asking how he could support the project.

Emily colouring in one of the comics Credit: ITV News

Disabled children deserve to be represented in books and on TV in a positive way. Without sad music in the background accompanying their story.

Children with disabilities are funny, exciting, happy, sad, mischievous, rude, caring. Just like any other child.

– Dan White

Dan discovered Emily would be born with spina bifida a day before she was due to be born.

"We decided on that day there and then she was going to live life to the fullest and have enormous fun and make her presence known in the world."

Emily, 10, doesn't see herself as disabled and said people should treat her "like a normal human being".

She said she doesn't like it when people say she "suffers" from spina bifida, as she "doesn't suffer".

The comic strip featuring one of the characters in a wheelchair Credit: Dan White

She said she loves her father's comic strip and her favourite character is based around herself.

He said: "Every single child in the world, regardless of ability, are smart and intelligent and far more clever than people give them credit."

Dan White's comic strip Credit: Dan White