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About us

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Nicola Grove

Flo, Katrina and I are all Storysharing® trainers. We set up the Surviving through Story Facebook page to help people through the Covid19 crisis.

I’m a retired English 
teacher, speech and language therapist, and storyteller. I developed Storysharing® after realising how often we tell stories about children and adults with disabilities - but not with them.  I now work as a researcher, consultant on communication, creativity and narrative.

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Flo Hopwood

I am a Music Therapist and class teacher, working at Three Ways Special School, primarily with young people with moderate learning disabilities and autistic spectrum difficulties. Storysharing® is essential for our students to find their 'voice' in a form that makes others LISTEN UP and understand, no matter what their communication difficulty. It really has been the most powerful and moving tool I have used during my teaching career so far.

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Katrina Arab

I am a class teacher at Three Ways School with children with profound and multiple learning difficulties. I am the lead for the Pre-formal communication, sensory stories and engagement. I have also worked with The Sensory Projects and have a published sensory story called Fire Alarm.

The Open University Social History of Learning Disability Group

This group does research on the history of people with learning disabilities.

The Open University have funded this website.

Dr. Liz Tilley Co-Chair

I’m a senior lecturer in health and social care at the OU. Before this I was a support worker for people with learning disabilities in North London. I am especially interested in how history and stories can be used to support activism and change.

Craig Hart Co-Chair

It’s nice to share your feelings and your stories with people.I'd like to hear other people's stories in different counties or countries. "What's been going on?" I can't do the normal things I used to. I am worried about people dying and I‘d like to know how people are dealing with loss.

Dr. Sue Ledger

I was a social worker and manager in health and community services. Now I am a researcher helping children and adults with learning disabilities to share their stories and experiences more widely. Before becoming a university-based researcher, working in care homes across the UK made me realise just how many people with learning disabilities had lost their personal stories – making it much harder for people to really get to know them as individuals.

RIX Centre, University of East London

Our Research & Development Centre is dedicated to working in partnership with disabled people, their families and the professionals and organisations that work with them. Together we explore new technologies and the ways that they can be put into practice to help people to learn, speak up for themselves, gain independence and manage their care & support in ways that work best for them.

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Gosia M. Kwiatkowska

I'm Senior Lecturer and the Co-Director of the RIX Centre, University of East London. I am passionate about inclusion, equality and human rights.

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Kanchan Kerai

I am senior administrator at the RIX Centre. I am honoured to be a part of this group and website. It’s important that people with learning disabilities have a platform to share their stories, their stories are just as important as everyone else’s.



Generate is a charity that works with people with a learning disability, autism and other disabilities to have better lives and connect to the community as equal citizens. Generate are looking after the information submitted to the Surviving Through Story Website.

Kate Tokley

I'm the Inclusion and Engagement Manager at Generate. I make sure everything is working behind the scenes of this website, and that everyone has what they need to tell great stories!

Beverley Dawkins OBE

I'm Chief Executive at Generate.

The Advisory Team

Our advisors are all people with learning disabilities who make sure we are on the right track with this project. 

Pat Charlesworth

I am 73 years old. I am co-chair of Hackney People First and the Foundation for People with Learning Disabilities. I also work with Haringey Partnership Forum, and Hackney Council. I am an expert advisor for NICE, and have worked with projects on Hate Crime and Pass It On, an online programme for peer supporters. I love good food and friendship! This website is important because it will last

after Covid - people have stories right through their life.

Ajay Choksi

I am a Technical Research Assistant and a Wiki Master at the RIX Research Centre at the University of East London. 


I am an advocate for people with Intellectual Difficulties and am passionate about accessibility and digital inclusion. 


As part of my role I teach individuals with disabilities, Social Work students and SEN Teachers, and other professionals how to use technologies for person centred practice.

Paul Christian

I am a proud Black 38 year old person with an extensive amount of knowledge and interests in different subjects including Black Lives Matter.


I trained as an actor at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama. I co-authored two journal articles with Sue Ledger. These were about researching on learning disability history projects. I was a researcher on the Inclusive Archive of Learning Disability History Project and worked as an evaluator on the Madhouse Theatre project.

I can express some of my own views as a black person with learning disabilities and hopefully my voice will help change people’s negative perceptions. 

Terry Bartlett

I have Autistic Spectrum Disorder. I love trains, WWE, and of course Classic 80s TV Shows -Airwolf, Knight Rider and The A Team.

Vicky Green

I was a Research Assistant at the OU, and I worked on a project that made an online digital archive for people with learning disabilities. I have also co-chaired several meetings at my local learning disability centre. I volunteer at a Charity shop and have done for the last 2 years.

Sharon Murphy

I work in McDonald's.

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