Our Head of Growth, Rachel Besenyei, has been running a virtual work experience placement through Whizz Kidz. Our placement student Abbie worked on a range of different projects during her time with us, and had a real flair for design and social. In her spare time, she’s been writing a book – so we asked her to share her experience as an author here.
“I’ve had experiences where people weren’t as educated about disabilities than others and they seemed a bit scared to allow themselves to learn about the different types of disabilities and understand people with conditions,” explained Abbie.
“This sparked the idea to write a book as there isn’t much out there that explains disabilities in a positive way. A lot of people make assumptions on topics they’re unsure of so I wanted to share some useful information on the subject. I decided to write about what people can achieve despite their disability, making sure I included as many types of disabilities that people may not have much understanding of.”
Planning and writing
When it came to planning and writing the book, Abbie shared that it took her a year and a half in total, she said: “I wanted to take my time to think about what the book should include. I didn’t want to rush the book, but it was important for me to stay in the flow of writing, so I had to write regularly to keep on top of it.
“I took a few weeks planning all of the chapters and thinking about the order I wanted them in. Then, after this, I took one section at a time. I wrote the book in an order that I thought made sense and made the book flow. There’s 25 small chapters (each chapter is about 2 pages) in total and each chapter looks at a different topic with the main concept of disabilities running throughout the book.”
Selecting the topics
Abbie’s book focuses on many different disabilities as she explains: “It covers a good mix of topics like support and independence. I wanted to show that just because some people are disabled it doesn’t mean they can’t adapt and turn the things they can’t do, into things they can.
“Some of the topics of the book look at how to treat and speak to people with disabilities, how to maintain friendships and understand relationships including what disabled people might need to understand about being in a safe and happy relationship. It also offers guidance to others, showing them the best way to support people with a disability and making sure they understand what’s best for that person.”
Learning about myself
Writing a book was something new for Abbie but it was a great learning experience and something she had always dreamt about: “I really enjoyed writing my book and I actually learnt a lot about myself and my disability as well as other disabilities I didn’t have as much knowledge on.
“By researching and finding information from other people and using sources like the internet and books, I was able to, in my own words, create a book I felt would allow people to learn and understand how truly amazing people are despite their disabilities.”
If you’d like to hear more, please visit Abbie’s blog at: https://abbiesmart.blogspot.com/?m=1