Ann Torode: Acknowledgement

Ann was born in 1943 in Dulwich, London. She was sent to a special primary school, then known as an 'educationally sub-normal' school until her mother won a battle to have her moved to her local mainstream primary school. From there Ann went on to a girls' grammar school and afterwards to university.

Here Ann talks about the changes she’d like to happen.


If they had acknowledged I was disabled and asked me what I needed, but that’s in a setting where there were stairs and everything, so there was nothing.
Just made the acknowledgement that the way it was for the rest of the children couldn’t be the way it was for me. I couldn’t participate in the kind of things that they were doing and that they shouldn’t expect me to. That that isn’t a condition of inclusion, that you conform to them.
And also that the other kids then should be doing some of the things you could do instead of it being you fitting into what they could do.
I remember going to a beautiful yoga session once and she made everybody sit in chairs.
So I wasn’t the... she didn’t say 'You sit on a chair and the rest of us', she made everybody sit in chairs.
So yes, that’s what I’d change. That the non-disabled children should be tret like disabled children. I don’t mean discriminated against, I mean, so it was equal, but on our terms, not on their terms.

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