By Gabrielle Garrigan, 2005 2:43 minutes
Gabrielle tells her story of growing up and her involvement in community life. With her mother's help and her own skills, interests and tenacious, upbeat personality, she has overcome many barriers. It is a story that emphasises what we can do, not what we can't do, and it challenges many stereotypes surrounding disability.
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How do we overcome exclusion?
Gabrielle begins her story with a core assertion about what type of person she is: “Mum says I used to always say “Me do”. It’s because I am very independent.”
- What does it mean to be independent?
- Why is independence so important to some people?
- Reflect on your own identity. Identify three traits that best describe you.
Each human being is different; even identical twins are different in many ways.
- In what ways are you different to Gabrielle?
- In what ways are you the same?
Gabrielle introduces the notion of inclusion and exclusion: “Mum wanted me to go to the local school. Because the teachers didn’t know how smart I was, I was made to go to the special schools.”
- What assumptions did the teachers from the local school make?
- Were their assumptions correct? What actually happened?
- Gabrielle overcame formal exclusion from her school. What types of ‘informal’ exclusion may she have encountered once at school?
- After gaining an insight into Gabrielle’s personality from her digital story, speculate about how she might have reacted to other forms of informal exclusion that she may have encountered as she grew up.
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