Joanne Wacha: Just to be Seen

Joanne Wacha was born in 1984 in Harrow, London. Joanne attended local mainstream primary and secondary schools and also spent time in hospital, attending the hospital school, after becoming ill at the age of thirteen. After school she went on to a local sixth form college, then a residential special college and then on to university.

Here Joanne talks about the fundamental need for disabled children to be in schools with their peers.


Yeah that’s a hard one, cos you don’t want to take all the disabled children from their class and say, 'OK, we’re going to have a specialist lesson with just the disabled people, to talk about citizenship and identity and who you are'. So that’s why probably the project What Did You Learn At School Today, that’s why it’s really valuable to have it and to have school packs which would be wicked if they were all sent nationwide cos I think that’s the only way to learn about disabilities, is to have that child in school from the beginning, from nursery up until secondary, up until university.
I don’t know if there’s any way you could teach it but just to be seen, to be there and it to be done as normal, not to make a big deal out of it. Yeah and maybe like the teachers having, being educated about it, a bit more knowledge, more empathy for it and if it starts from education it will be seen in work and outside and maybe people won’t stare when they see a disabled person on the street because it’s such a rare thing to see. We’ll all be outside and not locked up like it used to be

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