As someone with significant impairments born in 1974, I went to a mainstream school from the aged of 11 back in 1985 where I was fully integrated into my local all boys secondary school in Horsham, Forest Boys. back in the 'dark ages' of inclusion.
I went to my first school when I was 3, which was the children's ward of the local mental hospital in Horsham. In 1978, it became its own school for the 'mentally handicapped', and was opened and named after the Queen, QE2 School. The teachers at the school quickly realised I was rather intelligent and I was briefly integrated into my local village school in Slinfold at 5, with mixed success.
After spending a few years at a mainstream school in Crawley, Southgate Middle School. within their 'physically handicapped unit', I was fully integrated at 11 at my local all boys mainstream school in Horsham, Forest Boys, where I received a proper education although I was constantly bullied.
Then I attended the local mainstream sixth form college, Collyer's, doing my A-Levels before doing my degree, BSc Manufacturing and Business Studies, at Coventry University. I started a MA in Disability Studies at University of Sheffield in 1998 which I did not finish.
I have attended many conferences on social care and other issues since 1992 and I have developed a large informal understanding of the issues and I am now considered a leading commentator in the field as a service user professional.
I am always prepared to learn from others, as well as letting others learn from myself.