‘Cerebral palsy did not stop me from becoming a lawyer’

It was pretty wierd when, last year I bumped into someone from my old special school at powerchair football training in woolwich. Hebden green is miles away in a quiet corner of cheshire; that was a world I had assumed I had left far behind. To bump into someone from that world here in my new one was quite a turn up, but I am pleased it happened.

Dan is training to be a barrister. He was telling me about it yesterday, and about how he has been turned down from many interviews due to his speech impediment. Dan speaks more clearly than me or Lyn, and does not need to use a communication aid, so I was fairly disheartened to hear that was a problem for him. Nonetheless, in the interviews he does get, he does well, and is well on his way to becoming a lawyer. In fact, I just saw on Facebook that he’s been in the Brazillian Press about it. He told me yesterday that he has another interview today, so let me wish him the very best of luck.

I may have been wrong about my old school. I now know quite a few former students who are now doing very well for theirselves. I didn’t do too badly, either. I once dismissed it along with all special schools as little more than daycare centres. While I still say there are major problems with the system of segregated education, for me to dismiss all the staff who work in such schools as not bothering to teach students properly was clearly quite wrong.

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