Frankie, one of the deaf young people involved in the Life & Deaf workshop with Julia Donaldson, has become an award-winning ambassador in the movement towards more inclusive literature.
Frankie recently featured on BBC Newsround conducting an emotional interview with Emma Hopkin, Head of Children’s and Educational Publishing at Bloomsbury Publishing Company, about the general need for more inclusive children’s books. This led to an article about inclusive literature in The Guardian.
Frankie is calling for truly inclusive books, i.e. mainstream books that feature characters who just happen to be deaf, disabled or otherwise representative of the diversity in our communities in their appearance, religious beliefs, sexuality or their physical and mental health, without giving this undue attention. Frankie raised the question of why ‘in most books villains are usually deformed’. By challenging trends like this, Frankie is bringing issues about inclusion to the forefront of the minds of authors, illustrators, publicists and, of course, readers. We at Life & Deaf share Frankie’s belief that this will lead to change for the better.
In July 2015, Frankie won the “Do the right thing” award in the Royal Borough of Greenwich in the category of young people who are an ‘inspiration to others’. Frankie is an ambassador for all children and young people with Treacher Collins, deafness and/or any other special educational need and for their families, schools and wider communities.