Former National Star student Abbie Smart is determined to break down barriers around disability.
The 21-year-old has written a book, entitled ‘Get over yourself, we’re only disabled’. Abbie will launch her book at FestABLE on 4 July 2020. She says she is delighted to return to National Star as she wrote the book while she was at college.
‘I decided to write my book to explain to people who might not be so understanding towards people with disabilities what we can do, despite our disability and the things we might find difficult or things we might find entertaining that people wouldn’t think about when they see someone with a disability,’ said Abbie.
Abbie, who has cerebral palsy, drives her own wheelchair and uses a ‘speech assist’ programme on her iPad when people struggle to understand her.
Since leaving National Star in July last year, Abbie has returned to her hometown of Rainham, Essex, where she writes a blog and is doing work experience with Whizz-Kidz.
Chapters in Abbie’s book include: ‘Ask us how we want our care’; ‘We might need a little more time to do things’ and ‘Girls can wear high heels, even in wheelchairs!’
‘I feel that people with disabilities are all given the same label and able-bodied people think we can’t do things,’ said Abbie.
‘When we get the right support, we achieve things that we thought were not imaginable. I love the incredible things I have done throughout my life but I wouldn’t have done these things without the support I received from National Star.’