WRITE STUFF: CRANES support worker Susan Brophy shows off the book Crossing Bridges that was partly written and illustrated by special needs children at CRANES.
WRITE STUFF: CRANES support worker Susan Brophy shows off the book Crossing Bridges that was partly written and illustrated by special needs children at CRANES. Adam Hourigan

Young disabled authors tell story of adventure, acceptance

AN ADVENTURE story drawn from the imaginations of Clarence Valley children will make its way to library bookshelves next week.

Written and illustrated by the participants and support workers of CRANES after-school group for children with a disability, Crossing Bridges follows a group of kids with individual needs who work together to overcome the obstacles of a flood.

It is hoped that the book, soon to be available in school and Clarence Valley libraries, will be used as an educational tool to help children understand differences.

CRANES support worker Cheryl Kirby said the story uncovered how isolated some children with a disability can sometimes feel and how important it is for them to be made feel welcome and accepted into our local communities.

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"It also highlights that people sometimes do see a disability first and do not recognise that we all have different levels of ability," she said.

"Many locals will recognise our island and the bridge in the book and how these were used to symbolize the children being isolated (the island) and how the bridge was used as a way to join and connect the children with other children in the local community.

"The book has taken months to put together and it is exciting to finally see it in print."

The collaborative project was made possible by funding from Northcott's Fundability Program, which aims to include children aged 9-15 with a disability into mainstream services and activities by creating an awareness of inclusion in the community.

To celebrate the book's completion, CRANES will hold a book launch and presentation at the Grafton Regional Library next Tuesday, June 23 at 3.30pm.



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