Course in Fakenham will help with understanding disability

Joan Latta, who is running a disability awareness course in Fakenham. Picture: Ian Burt

Joan Latta, who is running a disability awareness course in Fakenham. Picture: Ian Burt - Credit: IAN BURT

A Norfolk woman is running a disability awareness course to help bridge some of the gaps between disabled and able people.

Joan Latta, who has cerebral palsy, is running Open the Door to Disability Training at Fakenham's Sure Start Centre tomorrow.

The course will involve exploring the nature of different disabilities, communication, physical intervention, learning disabilities, therapy and post-16 options.

Miss Latta, 23, who grew up in Fakenham and went to school in the town, has learned to overcome the disability she suffered after being starved of oxygen for 28 minutes at birth.

In her career as a public speaker and trainer, she hopes to travel the world to raise awareness about living with disabilities by speaking at schools, colleges and universities.

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She said, 'It is hard both living with a disability and looking after somebody who is disabled too.

'The idea behind both my public speaking and training is to help people understand these challenges and change attitudes towards disabled people.

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'I also want to spread the idea that being disabled doesn't mean being restricted from doing whatever it is you want to do.'

Miss Latta's website lists tributes from colleges and schools she has spoken at.

Chris Lawson, mental health lecturer at the University of East Anglia, said: 'I have never seen someone work a lecture theatre like Joan.' .

Alison Schwier lecturer at Norwich City College, adds:

'Joan is a case study of motivation and determination. She challenges stereotypical views and gives students the opportunity to ask any questions. Her humour is infectious.'

Miss Latta, who lives on Fakenham's Norwich Road, set up her company Cerebral Palsy Alive and Kicking with support from The Prince's Trust's enterprise programme, receiving help with market research and mentoring support.

She has also recently become a young ambassador for the trust. Young ambassadors undertake roles including public speaking and helping to shape services for young people.

Joan also volunteers with the Norfolk and Norwich Scope Association and is an avid writer of fiction in her spare time.

Open the Door to Disability will take place tomorrow, between 9am and 4.30pm at Fakenham Sure Start Centre.

The course costs £100 per delegate for the day. To book places, call Joan on 07462 801887.

Do you know an inspirational person who has fought back against their disability? E-mail

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