The able in disabled
April 25th, 2016
As a disabled child in Kimberley, B.C., Nova Bannatyne-Eng fought for acceptance. Born with cerebral palsy, she became one of the first children with a significant disability to be integrated into, and graduate from, a B.C. public school.
When Nova Bannatyne-Eng retired, she began making presentations to school children, educators and other groups about living with cerebral palsy. For most people, meeting Nova is their first encounter with the disease.
In her memoir, Just Think, I Could Have Been Normal: Growing Up Extraordinary with Cerebral Palsy (Agio Publishing $19.95), Bannayne-Eng gives insights into what people with disabilities want and need, which is much the same as everyone else: to respected, appreciated and loved. Her story has inspired many others, both with and without disabilities. “I have pursued a career based on seeing the able in disabled, thanks to her courageous and inspirational example,” says teacher Lorri Taylor at Vancouver Children’s Hospital. “Nova is the bravest person I have ever known.”
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