Jessi is 15. She enjoys reading, writing, going to the theatre, eating pizza with her friends and listening to rock music. A very premature birth led to both the left and right sides of Jessi’s brain haemorrhaging, leaving her with cerebral palsy.
“We weren’t finding much mainstream provision in
Now 15, Jessi attends a special school, which she chose at the start of her secondary education in order to access wheelchair sports and be in an environment with other disabled young people. However as she starts her GCSE course she is missing the academic challenges of mainstream school, and in September this year Jessi will be making the transition from special to mainstream schooling.
As she approached 16, Jessi is at the age when most disabled young people are in danger of finding themselves falling through the cracks in the system. Instead, Jessi immersed herself in KIDS’ Young People’s Inclusion Network (YP-IN) which gives disabled young people a forum through which they can make their voices heard. The service also ended up providing Jessi and her family with a lifeline at one point. “We were having a terrible time with a housing crisis when our old home become inaccessible for Jessi’s wheelchair”, explains Bev. YP-IN was a life-saver, giving Jessi a boost of moral, enabling her to mix both work and fun whilst empowering her at the same time.”
Looking forward to a fresh start at mainstream school, Jessi is determined to face the challenges that lie ahead.