Everyday Extraordinary interview: Joanne Ward

Joanne Ward works at a Centre for Independent Living. In our interview she told me about her work, studies, future plans and dreams.
Everyday Extraordinary

Describe yourself please.

My Name is Joanne Ward. I am 48 years of age. I have a mild learning disability I am a volunteer at Oldham Link Centre. I work 3 days a week. My work involves going out on home visits and seeing some clients with in the Link Centre. The work I do is very rewarding. I have very good colleagues at work and I get on well with all of them.

You told me you enjoying learning. Tell me about your studies.

In autumn 2012 I attended a Confidence and Communication course at Breakthrough UK in Manchester.

I attended special school from the age of 7. The schools were:

Gleb House Private School
Fernery Field Special School
MarlandFold special School
HavenSide for Further Education

I felt I did not get a good education. If I had been born at a different time I would have liked to have gone to New Bridge Special School as the education is so much better in this day and age.

Over the years I have learnt great skills with computers.

I have gained my certificates in:

  • File Management and e Document production
  • Creating an e-Presentation
  • Online communication.

I have also completed Level 1 in CLAiT (Computer Literacy and information Technology) and Level 1 computer skills for the over 50's. I have also just completed my level 2 and would like to go on to levels 3 and 4.

In my own way I am still learning. I used to be frightened of anything new but I am slowly overcoming this.

What do you think disabled people’s experience can be?

As a disabled person I sometimes feel I get pushed down and out of the way. That is wrong. Every person with a disability has rights as much as anyone else.

We all have opinions and rights of our own.

I don't agree with labels; to me it is taking a disabled person’s independence away.

My hopes for the future are to hopefully live independently. I am not ready to make this move just yet but I am thinking about it.

Finding paid employment at the Link centre is my main ambition at the moment – and getting a proper wage.

If I had a proper wage I would like to take my Mum on a cruise ship or aeroplane to somewhere exotic.

My advice to other people would if they were feeling they had no confidence or very depressed that they should talk to their parents or GP.

Don't be scared of speaking up.
Don't bottle things up inside you; let them out it helps you feel better.
Don't take your frustrations and problems out on other people

Talk to someone who can help. There are people out there so don't be afraid of asking for help when you need it.

I am a true Doctor Who fan.

My favourites are David Tenant and Matt Smith. They are both very good looking and have lovely eyes.
Thank you very much for the interview Joanne.


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