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Are you a supply teacher, teaching assistant or residenital support worker looking for some help and advice? If so, you are the right place. Our blogs offer tips and tricks on everything from classroom management to interview tips and support, along with day in the life case studies from real supply teachers, NQTs and cover supervisors. They also give you an insight into what working for Smile is like, the ways which we support local communities and charities and the training and events that we offer. 

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21-03-2022 - - 0 comments
Inspiring teachers with disabilities

It's a new month of our Pride 365 celebrations and we are focusing on celebrating individuals with disabilities. 


In the November 2016 census information on disability was not obtained by schools for 50% of teachers. The information given suggests that only 0.5 per cent of teachers are disabled but this may not truly reflect the real numbers due to the large amount of missing data.


As an education recruitment agency, we work with a variety of SEN schools and see how important it is to share positive representations of people from all walks of life. Our SEN football tournaments with Aston Villa were a huge success for raising the children’s confidence. However, in this blog, we wanted to share some teachers from around the world that have succeeded despite their disabilities and now inspire students and their communities to achieve their own goals.


Sheri Brynard


Sheri Brynard has spent her life trying to change people’s perceptions about people with Down Syndrome. As the world's first person with Down syndrome to achieve a tertiary teacher's diploma, Sheri now works as a teaching assistant and international ambassador for Down syndrome, with over 700 public addresses across the world. Working with SEN children herself she believes that all people have the ability to make the best out of their circumstances and she is living proof of this.


Jitendra Mane


Since he was a child Jitendra Mane has struggled with his health, each time the weather changed he suffered from long-lasting fevers and at the age of 22, he was diagnosed with Juvenile Ankylosing Spondylitis, a type of arthritis leaving him unable to move. With this diagnosis and his need for physiotherapy, Jitendra wasn’t able to attend college regularly and missed months while he did his Bachelor of Education. After applying for multiple interviews he began working as a teaching assistant, marking work and teaching classes whilst standing due to his condition. Jitendra now uses his platform as an educator to teach his students compassion towards people with disabilities and encourages children in rural India to never give up.


Phùng Van Truong


Born into a poor family in the Chuong My District on the outskirt of Hà Noi, Phùng Van Truong has a rare condition that causes muscle weakness. Due to his disability, he struggled with school and had to drop out at the age of 13, and continued to educate himself through books whilst at home. As an adult Phùng taught himself how to write by holding a pen in his mouth. After tutoring his niece and nephew he finally used his newfound skills to open his doors for children with learning disabilities and opened a library with over 3000 books that now serves the community and their children.



Ahmed al-Sawaferi


In 2008 after an Israeli missile strike Ahmed al-Sawaferi lost both of his legs and one of his arms leaving him wheelchair-bound. Despite this, he was able to fulfil his childhood dream of becoming a teacher. His key message to his students is to love, respect and value their education and nation every day and he continues to teach even though teachers in Gaza don’t have access to a reliable income.



Regardless of the struggles they have faced these inspirational teachers have managed to achieve their goals and advocate for others with disabilities. We believe we all have something to learn from their perseverance and strength. If we have missed someone that inspires you please let us know in the comments!


If you want to inspire and support SEN students have a look at our latest roles or send us your cv to register.

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