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Shane Booth – The Man That Speaks

Against All Odds

This is a presentation about how after more than a decade of battling against adversity, I’ve been able to completely rebuild my life.

My name is Shane Booth and I’m a 47 year old brain injury survivor.  

On 5th August 2009, I was involved in a major life-threatening motorbike accident at a place called Baden-Baden in Germany. This accident left me fighting for my life, with several broken limbs and a traumatic brain injury. The accident ultimately left me disabled and, for three months I was unable to speak. After being transferred back to the UK, I underwent three months in intensive care, then three years in inpatient rehabilitation.  

With a lot of focussed rehabilitation, I have started to rebuild my life. The collaboration between myself and my rehab team has enabled me to set increasingly challenging targets and goals and achieve more.  I’d like to share with you some of the qualities that have helped me make my rehab such a success.

Stuart Wheeler – Freedom Wheelchair Skills

Freedom Wheelchair Skills

Freedom Wheelchair Skills was started after I recognised a need for peer-led wheelchair skills training, for people who have a range of disabilities and need to use a wheelchair. It’s been over 20 years since my injury and the start of me having to use a wheelchair for my mobility. I learnt the skills I have the hard way, through making repeated mistakes and learning from them.

I wanted to set up a resource for people to learn the essential skills in manoeuvring their wheelchair safely and effectively, to enable them to become more independent, confident and safe when going about their daily lives. Since Freedom Wheelchair Skills started many people have benefited from one-to-one training sessions, group training and training with organisations, charities and hospitals. People learn efficient pushing techniques, how to negotiate kerbs, slopes and rough terrain, how to manoeuvre over thresholds safely and develop their spatial awareness in confined spaces. For more info www.freedomwheelchairskills.co.uk

Imogen Butler
Andrew Self

Tailfeather TV

TailfeatherTV

TailfeatherTV is the first pre-school YouTube channel co-written and presented by young adult presenters with learning disabilities.

Each episode covers a different topic suitable for pre-school children and provides engaging opportunities to dance, sing, sign, learn and play.

Imogen Butler

Imogen trained at Bush Davies School of Ballet and the Performing Arts, and the Urdang Academy where she studied RAD majors and ISTD majors in ballet, tap, modern, and national.  From 1991 – 200 she taught ballet, tap, jazz, street dance and musical theatre dance to students aged 2 – 18 years. In 2000 Imogen began teaching dance to children and adults with special educational needs.  Working on a pilot project called ‘Dancing the Words’ by The Place provided the opportunity to support language and communication development for students with English as a second language.  It was also the start of an exciting journey in inclusive dance and how making dance accessible provides greater opportunities for equality and creativity.  Imogen taught inclusive dance at Orpheus from 2015 – 2020, during which she gained an MA in Dance Technique Pedagogy from the University of Middlesex. 

In 2017 Imogen founded Tailfeatherdance which is dedicated to dance education and performance for young adults with learning disabilities. At both Orpheus and Tailfeatherdance, Imogen developed an interest in Dance on Screen and has had dance films screened at a number of dance film festivals. During lockdown 1, she had the idea for TailfeatherTV whilst observing the performance quality of her dance students.  The core team of 6 presenters met for the first time in September 2020 and they were able to create 12 episodes from September to December. TailfeatherTV is due to return this summer (2021) with lots of fun, new content!

Andrew Self

Andrew has always loved dancing and used to dance at family parties when he was younger but started seriously when about 11 years old when he started watching BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing. He used to watch lots of reruns of the show and copy the professionals and all the different dances doing both the male and female parts – his favourite dance being the jive and all the Latin dances. 

His dream came true in 2015 when he was one of five winners out of about five thousand entries of BBC’s “Do The Strictly” and we spent a wonderful weekend in Blackpool watching the show being filmed and meeting a lot of Andrew’s Strictly heroes – he even had a jive on the famous Blackpool ballroom floor with Peter Andre.His dance teacher told us about BBC’s The Greatest Dancer, and we had an exciting day in Birmingham at the audition. The effect of the audition was phenomenal – it has been shared millions of times on various social media platforms attracting hundreds of thousands of comments stating how much he has inspired and made a massive impact on people, both disabled and non-disabled in so many countries. Because of the audition (and a lot of nudging from me!) Andrew was invited to the 2018 Strictly final and the after show wrap party where he met and danced with lots of his strictly favourites. He then went on to win One Dance UK’s Dance Personality of the Year in 2019 which was very exciting.

He has done lots of performances both as part of a company and as a soloist and even performed a waltz at Sadler’s Wells as part of Stepchange’s Fairy Tales which was magical. Andrew dances with Candoco Youth Company and Tailfeather Dance and is due to start some training with a major ballet company this year. He loves playing on his PS4, watching YouTube, musicals, seeing his girlfriend, eating, and doing dances for his beloved TikTok! He is hoping to go back to working at his hairdressing job and as a dance assistant with Tailfeather Dance very soon!

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