Flying with the sparrow:
How legends empower people with disabilities
In this presentation Nicola will share her experiences in the UK, Japan and South Africa. She will:
– Talk about storytelling in the lives of people with disabilities
– Show examples of the work of Openstorytellers, the world’s first company of storytellers with intellectual disabilities.
– Learn from you about disability and story in First Nations and other cultures.
– Discuss with you stories and legends of First Nations that are important for people with disabilities.
– Share some approaches to storytelling with children and adults who do not talk or who have speech impairments.
The presentation will be a combination of film, talk, and group discussions and activities.
Brief biography: Nicola was first an English teacher, then a speech and language therapist, specialising in work with people who have intellectual disabilities. She obtained a PhD in 1997, on the topic of sign language use by hearing children with intellectual disabilities. This led to lecturing posts at the Institute of Education at London University, and at City University Department of Language and Communication Science, where she is an honorary research fellow. She has just retired as Director of the first arts company of intellectually disabled storytellers, Openstorytellers (www.openstorytellers.org.uk) This pioneering venture is run with the help of three people with intellectual disabilities, offering training, performances and research into narrative and story. She is a freelance consultant and researcher. Currently she is conducting the research side of a three year project to develop oral storytelling skills with young people who have complex communication needs.