I have worked within special education for about 17 years. In my early career, the disabilities of pupils were generally moderate with many pupils having the option of studying for GCSEs and going on to further education. However, the dynamics of the pupils attending SEN schools have changed over the years as inclusion strategies have been developed and the needs of the children have evolved. Due to factors such as improved medical care and technology, babies born with severe impairments have a greater chance of survival. Therefore, the physical, medical and sensory needs of pupils are far greater. This change has had a profound impact on SEN schools and the changes to my own work have been quite substantial. Over time this change has continued to prompt me to reflect on the home lives of families that care for such children; as, despite the huge amount I have learnt and experienced, I still cannot imagine fully the impact of caring for a severely disabled child at home 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Now, the time and opportunity has come for me to explore and continue learning about the impact of disability. And having a creative outlet in my photography with which to approach this project makes it an even more fulfilling experience for me.
You can learn more about the Wright family story by reading Rachel's book: The Skies I’m Under.
For more info on Rachel’s work and services visit her website: www.bornattherighttime.com .