“I’m a woman and an actor first. I have Down’s syndrome, but that’s not all I am. There is so much more to me than my disability.” Sarah Gordy, MBE
It is rare to find learning disability-related literature that isn’t medical or academic, so I was excited to learn about Saba Salman’s new book, Made Possible. And what an uplifting read it was.
Made Possible was inspired by Salman’s own experiences with her younger sister, Raana, who has a learning disability. In it, we hear from eight remarkable people who have all achieved great things, regardless of the fact they have a learning disability.
Contributors include acclaimed actor Sarah Gordy MBE, the former Paralympic athlete Dan Pepper, and Gavin Harding, the UK’s first mayor with a learning disability, to name a few. Through hearing their real-life stories first-hand, we’re shown what society misses out on by pitying and patronising them, and labelling them by their condition.
People with learning disabilities should not be victimised
Throughout Made Possible, people with learning disabilities are not shown as vulnerable victims, but instead celebrated for their personal qualities and achievements. And as they tell their amazing stories, they take us on an insightful journey too. Most of all, Made Possible highlights that we all have the potential to shine in different ways – which, after all, is part of society’s beauty.
Made Possible is an inspiring and moving collection of real-life stories of people with learning disabilities that everyone would benefit from reading – particularly those in education, health and social care.
Where to buy Made Possible
Made Possible is available from Waterstones, Amazon and other bookstores nationwide.
by Saba Salman
Published by Unbound
About Saba Salman
Saba Salman is a social affairs journalist and regular writer for the Guardian. She has reported on equality and disability issues for more than 20 years, and her particular focus is the UK’s overlooked population of 1.5m people with learning disabilities. Saba is a trustee of the charity Sibs, and has a younger sister with a learning disability.