Having A Disability Isn’t Going To Stop Me Achieving My Dreams

Published May 24, 2013
PACE blogger, journalist, disability rights campaigner.

PACE blogger, journalist, disability rights campaigner.

I’m Sarah Ismail. I’m 27. I’ve lived in London for most of my life – I love the city and am proud to call it home.

I have Cerebral Palsy, which for me just means some difficulty walking. But I have good speech and as my friends will tell you, hardly shut up!

I used to be a member of PACE and have always thought they do very good work. I will always support them in any way I can, which is why I’m very pleased to be one of their bloggers.

I’ve always liked reading and writing and have always wanted to write a best-selling book. I’m working on one at the moment. It’s not as easy to write good books as it looks when you’re reading good books, but I hope it will be worth it in the end.

So, how did my love of reading and writing start, and how did I get to be who I am today?

I had a mainstream education from the age of 5, after spending a very short time at a special school, where I made lifelong friends and learnt, well, not very much. Not that I cared at the time- back then I loved that school.

Mainstream school wasn’t easy. It took me a very long time to make what I could call friends, and a very short time to lose touch with them. That was out of the classroom.

In the classroom, there wasn’t much I could do without support. But reading books was one of the few things that I found easy. Spelling was another, so writing seemed like a natural thing to do.

After passing GCSEs and A Levels, which took a lot of hard work and Learning Support but for me, was worth every minute, I went on to university and did English Literature and Creative Writing.

As I’ve grown older, I’ve realised that I want to help other disabled people by sharing my own experiences. I hope hearing about the way that I have done things will help others to see that they are not alone, and that they can do anything they find interesting, with or without a disability.

So, when I left university, I started writing about disability, my own experiences and current disability issues. Now, I run my own website, called Same Difference, about all disabilities and all disability issues. Through the site, I campaign for disability rights and improvements in our lives. I think I might have become just a little bit famous on Twitter!

But it’s not all boring. I also cover fun things, like movies and TV programmes about disability, and disabled characters in soaps (not that there are enough of them), and, of course, disability sport.

So, I will admit that having a disability has affected the dreams that I have been able to have in life, but stopped me achieving them? I’ll never let that happen.

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