School Life

Gordon Richardson: Not special

Gordon was born in 1953 in the Philippines. His parents lived and worked abroad so Gordon attended several mainstream schools, mainly in Hong Kong and India. At age eight, he was sent to England with his brother to attend residential mainstream private schools, first in Yorkshire and then in Cambridge. He then went on to study at university.

Here Gordon talks about feeling part of the school.


I never thought of myself particularly as disabled. I was just in a wheelchair. There were things I couldn’t do. I couldn’t run upstairs, I couldn’t go climbing, But no, I always saw myself as part of the school and the school always saw me as part of the school. You know, they didn’t treat me as special. I think that’s actually quite important.
They didn’t treat me as special, they just understood that there were times when concessions had to be made. But they were concessions because I actually couldn’t do things and no, I wasn’t mollycoddled, which was exactly the right way of doing it.

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