Success is a crucial part of being human. But what if society thought success and aspiration didn't apply to you?
A human rights campaigner. A critically acclaimed actor. A civil rights activist. A singer-songwriter. A Paralympian and elite swimmer. A fine artist. An award-winning filmmaker and drag artist. An elected UK mayor.
These professionals have achieved astounding and awe-inspiring success. They've won national accolades in competitive fields such as film, theatre, music, fine art, campaigning and politics... and like 1.5 million people in the UK today, they all also happen to have a learning disability.
In Made Possible, these eight remarkable individuals present their authentic experiences - in their own words - and show us what society misses out on by overlooking them, pitying them, patronising them, simply tolerating them and labelling them in terms of their conditions.
Edited by social affairs journalist Saba Salman, this collection of groundbreaking and illuminating essays shatters preconceptions and offers a glimpse of the many types of success that can be achieved by people with a learning disability. Crucially, it reveals how people can make invaluable contributions to society when their potential is acknowledged and supported by those around them.
jim blair on Amazon wrote:
Saba Salman’s excellent anthology is a genuinely uplifting, challenging and ground-breaking work. We live in a society in which people with learning disabilities are often written off, from a very early age, as people who cannot achieve and who cannot even cope with the sort of ordinary lives most of us live. This book smashes that myth. A beautifully balanced collection of stories from high-achieving people with learning disabilities, ranging from professional singers and actors to film makers and politicians. We hear also from campaigners, a high-performance swimmer, and a successful artist. Reading these accounts, sometimes utterly jaw-dropping, and often laced with humour and insight, you learn how each of these highly talented people has had to work twice as hard as anyone else to get to where they are. But work they have – each is a terrific fighter, and has forced the world to see and acknowledge their talent, even when the odds seem completely stacked against them. Each person tells their own story, in a series of riveting short essays. I am full of admiration for this wonderful book, and I hope it has the impact it deserves.
See the person experience their abilities. Tune into what the person can do and focus on their talents. Saba has edited a fabulous book that weaves a diversely exciting path through the lives of people with learning disabilities. Saba uses her own living experiences of being Raana’s sister to showcase what people with a learning disability can do and achieve. The contributors with this book are people who play a huge part in their local communities and society at large. Which is sadly something that is not always acknowledged about individuals who have a learning disability. Shaun shines a light on why and how he got an MBE as well as proving his father wrong who believed he would not amount to much. Sarah shares her acting experiences and that Down Syndrome is part of her but not all of who she is. Gary proves the peer of advocacy and influence that make his and other people’s lives better. Lizzie is as she says loud and proud sharing her talents through music and singing. Dan illustrates how having a disability should never stand in the way of achieving success and dreams. Laura creates art that is unusual and has powerful impact. Matthew is a drag queen, film maker and a performer who provides sparkle to his and other people’s lives. Gavin has been a Mayor if a town - the first person with a learning disability to do this.
Each of these individuals share these and many many more experiences within this vibrant book that is effervescent in its celebration of success. This book shows what people can do and is an essential read emphasising talent.
Saba’s book is a MUST READ for all in society and should be read by every health, education and care practitioner NOW.