Fostering Friendships

Monday 6 December 2021 (13:00-14:30)
Scrabble tiles spelling 'friends'
Fostering friendships

Join children’s book author and agent, James Catchpole to discuss how to foster friendships among disabled and nondisabled children.

‘What Happened to You’ is a great read and playfully illustrated to help children understand how to get on with the business of playing- not asking intrusive questions of their peers. We will then broaden the conversation to understand what role parents and teachers can play to explain disability to children and how we can help nurture friendships to make our schools and communities truly inclusive. This workshop will equip you with some thought- provoking insights and some shared wisdom from our expert contributors.

James Catchpole was destined to be either an itinerant singer or an amputee footballer. He managed to get off the substitutes’ bench a couple of times for the England Amputee Football Team, and also busked around Provence with a guitar (another profession where it actively helps to have one leg), but reached the limits of his talents in both fields by his mid-twenties, and so joined the family business of children’s books. Fortunately, his talents as an editor and seller of stories have proved more durable. He now runs The Catchpole Agency with his wife Lucy and represents authors and illustrators of picturebooks, non-fiction and novels. He also wrote and sold his own story – a picturebook about the experience of being a disabled child called What Happened To You? – which was thrillingly and stupefyingly included in Booktrust’s 100 Best Children’s Books of the Past 100 Years.

Dr. Sarah Benson is a lecturer on inclusion and disabilities in the Department of Disability, Inclusion and Special Needs. She is the programme lead for the Inclusion and Special Education Needs PGCert and Masters’ in the UK and Dubai. Dr. Benson has published articles and book chapters on inclusive policy in the Middle East. Her interests lie in not only inclusive policy, but new teacher development and creating opportunities for students with disabilities. She has also spent time writing and researching inclusive science curriculum for primary grade students. Her current research interests lay in the Middle East and Gulf where she is inspired to see the rapid growth opportunities for more inclusive communities.)

Facilitated by: Sanam Yaqub, Disability, Equality and Inclusion lead for the University of Birmingham Dubai and School Partnership Manager.

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