Just before half-term, I visited my son’s school to do some assemblies for them about disability. I was apprehensive about for two reasons. Firstly, I hadn’t done any public speaking since well before the pandemic and I was out of practice. I always get nervous but I was really worried about making myself understood and getting the points across well. Secondly, a few weeks prior to my visit, one of the kids had made a comment to Jack about my disability and I was worried that me going into his school might draw more negative comments for him. However, Jack really wanted me to do it and with his enthusiasm, I couldn’t let him down!
The Head has asked me to just talk a little about my disability, how it affects me and the fact that I’ve written a book about it – plug, plug!! I needn’t have been worried or nervous at all! I did two back to back assemblies, with three year groups in each and when I had finished, they came up with some absolutely amazing questions – I was blown away and some of them really made me think! Many of the kids – and staff – thanked me as they left and I really felt like I’d made a difference.
By the end of the afternoon, I was on a high! This is what I love doing – talking to people, especially children and helping them to see that disability isn’t a bad thing and celebrating our differences is a positive. It’s 2021 and like most disabled people, I still experience discrimination on a regular basis. I couldn’t help wondering that maybe educating and talking to kids like this now is the key to ending this kind of discrimination in the future.
Since the assemblies, lots of parents have stopped me to say how much their child enjoyed it and that is what makes it all worthwhile! Please get in touch if you know a school who might like something similar 😊