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Theresa Jackson Artist



Theresa Jackson is a professional artist from London in the United Kingdom. Her inspirational talent is for sketch drawing. She has had a love for art since she was a young girl. Her preference choice of style of art is sketching. She likes to sketch buildings, animals and portraits. Theresa studied level one Art & Design at Treloar’s, boarding school and college for people with physical and complex needs in Hampshire in the United Kingdom. When Theresa was at college, she was awarded a level 1 award in art and design in 2017 when she finished college. Theresa also presented and gave a piece of her artwork to lord Robert Winston back when she was in college. Now she identifies as a sketch artist and is currently creating an art project for other residents of her care company where she lives. Theresa had thought about of making an art project to get all disability artists together to be able to raise awareness for artists with a disability to have the opportunity to get their selves recognized to the world like any other professional artist in the world. Theresa was born in Norfolk United Kingdom to British parents on 15th December 1998. As a child she was loud, and her sense of humor was a one to never forget. When she was at the age of one year old Theresa was diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy and the following year, she was diagnosed with type one Diabetes. She got her first wheelchair at the age of five years old because she was unable to walk due to being born with talipes where a person’s foot or feet is bent inwards. At the age of five years old Theresa attended school at Sheringham primary school in her hometown in Norfolk. This is where her interest in art was noticed by her teachers who taught her during the time that Theresa attended the school. Her teachers have noticed that Theresa does have a creative personality particularly in her Art lessons where Theresa loved to paint and draw, and she puts her all into her art lessons. Whenever Theresa did her art lessons, she would use this as an opportunity to channel her feelings through the expression in her artwork. Theresa has been a creative person ever since she was introduced to art by her friends and family. And art has been a big part of Theresa’s life since an incredibly early age. Theresa found school difficult from a youthful age, as her behavior became more challenging over the years. This would affect her education and her learning from time to time. This was down to the fact that Theresa had to wear splints on her legs to straighten her feet out and this would bring her a great amount of discomfort due to the pain. Theresa was liked by her peers at school, and she maintained good relationships with her friends. Theresa then moved house which made her change schools too, while she was happy to move, she had a fair number of emotions going on. Especially when she was leaving her friends and teachers to get Go to her new school. Theresa then moved to Norwich in Norfolk and went to a middle school in Norwich. When she first started her new school, she struggled to settle into the environment and get used to the new routine. Theresa made friends quickly and her friends liked her, her sense of humor and personality. She liked her new teacher and her support workers despite her difficulties adjusting to the new school routine. But over time Theresa began to get used to the new school life. A few months after starting the new school Theresa faced challenges in her home life and this would affect her school and education later down the line. This was because Theresa had many meetings with social workers at school before she went into shared care for a few weeks due to personal reasons. Theresa tried extremely hard to keep up with her schoolwork and catch up on lessons that she had missed due to having a lot of time away from the classroom. Once Theresa was settled down into her shared care placement, her schooling got back on track. Theresa had a keen interest in lessons such as Art, music and English as she had a creative personality particularly in art and English. Theresa did have a great difficulty in her math's lessons as she found it hard to understand. Theresa did really enjoy taking part in the school choir when they did a school play as she loved to sing and dance throughout her childhood. And she wanted to become a singer later in life. She took part in talent shows in her childhood and Theresa really enjoyed this. This was before she decided to become an artist. Once Theresa had finished middle school she was going to go to a mainstream school. But when she was looking for a high school, she found out that most of the high schools did not facilitate wheelchair access. And so, Theresa went to a special need school called the Claire school in Norwich in Norfolk. While Theresa was not keen on going to a special needs school, she got used to it quickly. This was the first time that Theresa was going to be going to a special needs school. This was the first time that she went to a special needs school. On the first day that Theresa was at her new school she did not know what to expect as she was not at a special needs school before, and she was anxious about what was going to happen. Theresa then got to know the staff, students, and the teachers. The first thing that she learnt about was the lesson timetable and what times breaktime and lunchtime were. Whilst Theresa was excited to see what the lessons were going to be like, she was worried about if the lessons would be at her level of learning, or it would be at a lower level of the spectrum. This was a big adjustment for Theresa as she was used to the mainstream spectrum, and Theresa felt like the work at the special need school was too easy for her. And so, she had to get used to what it was. After a couple of months Theresa got used to the lower level of learning and as per usual, she made friends with no problem. Theresa was at the Claire school for almost two years before moving to a boarding school in Hampshire due to A second time around of personal reasons in her life at home. During Theresa’s time at the Claire school, she took part in a theatre performance of Oprah of Cossi Fan Tuta with her year group at the time. Theresa was one of the main characters in the story and she played her part in the performance very well. When Theresa was 14 years old and after her time at The Clarie School she then started to live in residential care homes for personal reasons, Therefore, Theresa could not live at home anymore and so she had to go into care. Prior to when Theresa was living in a care setting, she used to live in Norfolk with her family. Theresa was in mainstream schools until she was 11 years old. Then at 11 years old Theresa started to go to special needs schools. Theresa’s first residential home was in a place called Cambridge by a company called scope. Scope is a charity for people with disability equality charity in England and Wales. Providing practical information and emotional support when it’s most needed. And Campaigning relentlessly to create a fairer society. On the way to the residential home in the car Theresa can remember feeling quite anxious and worried about what it was going to be like and what to expect while she was there. And Theresa has never lived in a residential care home, and she was excited about what it was going to be like when Theresa was living there. When she first arrived on her first day at the residential care home, Theresa was with her support worker and social worker. When Theresa first arrived at the residential home, she can remember that she did not want to talk to anyone when she first got there. This was Because that Theresa was nervous and anxious about being in a residential home for the first time in her life. This was a challenge for Theresa as she liked to know what was going on and what time things were, as Theresa liked knowing what time lunch and dinner was going to be, so she could plan her day. Theresa can remember that whenever staff or someone tried to talk to her or introduce themselves, she would kind of knowledge them but would not respond to them. Therefore, Theresa would just stay in her room and listen to her music for the first week or two of Theresa living there, and then when Theresa was ready to interact with other people, She would then come out of her room and start talking to the staff that was working with Theresa for the first week or two. Once Theresa had been gotten to the residential home by her support worker and social worker who brought her to the home. And they had settled Theresa in. Theresa’s support worker then went home after a few hours. After they had left, Theresa then started to unpack her belongings and put them in her new bedroom. However, she did not manage to unpack all her belongings on moving in day, as this took some time. So, Theresa and her new support workers had to unpack for the next day or two as I had a lot of belongings that she had with her. As Theresa was not going to be going home from that point onwards. Therefore, Theresa was upset because she was going to be apart from my family and siblings and she was not going to be able to see them every day like she was used to. But they would see her sometimes, but it was different from living with them every day. At teatime, Theresa went to the dining room to eat dinner and where the residents ate their food. This would be the first time that she would meet the other residents. And to be honest she did not know how to interact with the other residents because some of the residents could not talk, some of them could not eat and most of the residents had serious learning disabilities and Theresa did not have a learning disability. This was a struggle for Theresa as she had not necessarily had to deal with living people who have learning disabilities before. Theresa found it difficult to communicate with the other residents as they tended to have minimum speech or no communication at all. Therefore, Theresa fell out of her comfort zone because she did not have any learning disability, and she was the only one who had a physical disability. So, Theresa felt that she could only talk to staff whilst she was there, but then Theresa found a resident that she could speak to. Over time Theresa and the resident got to know each other and then they became friends. Theresa then felt like she was not alone anymore; Theresa and her friend then went out together to the cinema and bowling and lots more trips with other residents and it was fun. Theresa was only there for the summer holiday before she then went to her new boarding school in Hampshire in September that year. Before the summer holidays ended, Theresa went to a Dizzy Rascal concert with her friend. This was Theresa’s first ever at a concert and she loved it to the point where she will never forget it. The first time that Theresa attended my residential school and college was when she was 14 years old, before this time Theresa was in day schools where she went home after the school day was finished. At the previous school, where Theresa attended before she went to her new boarding school. Most of the students had learning disabilities. So, the education system was lower than my level of learning. And therefore, starting a new school with a new curriculum system was a hard adjustment and change for Theresa to get used to. The first day at Theresa’s boarding school felt very dawning and intensive as she did not know anyone, and Theresa had to learn the new routines and times of lessons, break times, lunch, and dinner times. Also, Theresa had to get used to living with 50 to 90 students in one house, which she had never done before as Theresa had not attended a boarding school before. But Theresa then got used to the new routine very quickly. Although she had found some stuff difficult because Theresa did not like or have a good relationship with the students who were full of themselves, and she was quiet, and she kept herself to herself. And therefore, Theresa was in her bedroom a lot because she did not like being around a lot of people or busy areas. Theresa was not used to having students like me around. This was the first time that she would be around people who had just a physical disability and not a learning disability. Theresa did get a lot of homesickness at first because she had not lived away from home before, and her family lived four hours away from her it was extremely hard to get used to. But over time the homesickness gradually got better after a few weeks of settling into the pristine environment. Theresa then began to make new friends and got to know the unfamiliar staff that were going to work with me, the staff who worked with her were nice, friendly, and helpful whilst Theresa was settling into the school. Theresa did not know anyone, and this made her feel anxious, and she didn’t want to talk to anybody. After a few weeks the routine felt like Theresa had been doing it all her life and Theresa was really enjoying her education. During this time Theresa was studying for her GCSES for the next academic year, which she was really excited about doing her exams. Theresas was told from an early age that she wasn't going to be able to do her GCSES all her life as she was in a school for people with learning disabilities and to hear that Theresa would to be able to do her exams was amazing to hear. Theresa then started to learn all the subjects that she was going to do for the exams, she was not that good at math's, and Theresa did struggle on learning math’s as it got harder to understand. Theresa did enjoy her English lessons because she liked writing and doing creative writing and Theresa also enjoyed her art lessons but unluckily for her school, they did not do the subject in a GCSE at the time. There was a lot that Theresa had to learn for the exams subjects that we were taking the exams for. In the lead up to the actual exams we did do some mock exams to prepare ourselves for what to expect from the actual exams. The way that the GCSE were set out for people who have disabilities is different to a mainstream school set out we did get extra time to do our exams due to our physical and medical conditions and each student had their own room with the person who was the student scribe. There were students who could not handwrite, one of them being myself, we had to dictate to our scribe to get our answers down. Scribes were not allowed to write our own answers in their own words, it had to be in a student's own answer word for word. Scribes were not allowed to add words or refreeze our answers in their own words. After the mock exams Theresa then went on a residential school trip for a week where she did some fun activities such as rock climbing, indoor activities, and outdoor activities. The trip was amazing and fun, and it did open her eyes to new things. On the trip there was a lot of laughter and giggles about people canoeing etc. Theresa will never forget how fun and amazing it was. At the end of the school year, the year group had their prom as when you are in year 9 and 10, we had two proms for each year. Every year Theresa took a date as it was traditionally the thing to do, the first year she wore a peach gown dress with some flower-patterned sandals, a glittery bag, and some jewelry. And it was an enjoyable time. The second year of prom Theresa wore a dark blue dress with a silver bag, jewelry, and sandals. That year she was runner-up in prom queen Theresa was not trying to win anything, but she was happy that she had won. Theresa was surprised that she had won it as Theresa was not really a girly girl and she is still not a girly girl, Theresa is a laid-back person. And she could not believe that her peers would choose her as Theresa did not mix with the other students that much. That September Theresa then started in the college department at the residential school and college where she lived. I chose to do level 1 Art & Design, and this is where her Artist journey began. At first, Theresa was very reluctant to do the Art & Design course as she really wanted to study health & social care because her aim was to become a social worker after she left school and college. But the college that Theresa was attending did not have any health & social care and art was her second preference of choice. In the first few weeks of being at college Theresa was not keen on doing art and she did not think that she was not going to take it anywhere later in her life. But Theresa was wrong, she started to enjoy the course after a few weeks into the year. Theresa started to learn how to draw with a picture projected onto a table so that she could draw around the picture. And then Theresa also made a sculpture of big ben and the houses of parliament out of paper Mache. Then she learnt how to draw portraits, sketches of buildings and many other things. A few months after the new college year, Theresa started to really like to do art, but she did not think that she would take it anywhere in life. Theresa was then asked by the college marketing team and her tutor if she would be interested in doing a drawing for Lord Robert Winston, which Theresa said that she would love to. The drawing that Theresa chose to do was a sketch drawing of Big Ben with a stenciled pattern background done with paint. She was happy that she had done it and when he got it, he then wrote Theresa a letter to say thank you for the drawing that she had done for him. Theresa was really surprised that Robert Winston wrote a letter to her, and she was really pleased and proud of herself that she had made a good impression of herself to someone who is extremely important in the United Kingdom. Theresa then started to do work experience in a nursery with children where she helped teach them art once a week. During the week between the days that Theresa did her work experience, she had to draw the outlines of animals and sea themes for the next week. Theresa really enjoyed her time doing her work experience as she felt like that, she had gotten happiness out of this. At the end of the college year, Theresa had another prom. And she took her boyfriend at the time; they were engaged and after college that year we were planning to live together. We got engaged that year a week or two before prom. That year at prom Theresa had a light-colored gown with sandals and a silver bag. At the time Theresa was 18 so she was allowed to drink at prom, Theresa had some prosecco, and she got a little bit drunk, but it was a good and fun night. There were different houses for all different age categories that students lived in as it was a school and college in one big building. When Theresa first went to her residential school, she was not old enough to live in the houses where she could stay for the holidays at. This is because the house where the students could stay the holidays at, students had to be a certain age to live in the house. Theresa turned 16 in December and when she came back from the Christmas holidays. Theresa then moved into the house where she would stay permanently, and she had to get used to unfamiliar staff once again. And it was not long before that everyone felt like family because they were friendly and helpful towards her. Therefore the reason why Theresa said that everyone felt like one big family is because of the way that students and the staff would use to sit around the dinner table in the holiday’s and staff would cook students homemade meals, like for example during the summer holidays when the catering team were not around staff used to cook us a fresh roast dinner every Sunday. The boarding house took the students on a lot of trips at weekends and in the holidays. The students would go to watch the rugby match at Twickenham with some of the students from the other houses across the campus. Sometimes we would go on shopping trips and cinema trips. In the holidays most of the students went home and there were a couple of students left in the house including Theresa. The students would go on day trips like, for example, they would go on boat trips where the students would get up early and be on the boat all day and then they would come home, have dinner, and get ready for bed. There were other trips but there are so many that Theresa cannot name them all. But it was fun most holidays. Although this was a boarding house in a school and college, there was an independent skills program where people like Theresa who wanted to live independently after college, then they could go on that program, and they could learn how to live independently. The students even had an opportunity to learn how to do our own medication ourselves, this is called self-medicated where students would learn how to administer their own medication their self and sign their own mar chart, to do this, students would have to be observed by the school and college nurses on site and then they would sign the student off. And Theresa was incredibly lucky to do her own self-medication. But when she had left college, Theresa would ask the homes and care companies that she was living in, they would start her off and they would not follow through with it or she would email them, and they would say that they would investigate it, but the management or care staff never did do anything about it. This made Theresa feel like she was not in control anymore and she really felt emotional and annoyed about this. This is because Theresa did her own self-medication at college months before he had left college and then it was a challenge to get back into self-medication at her previous care company where she was at the time. In terms of learning how to be independent, students were fortunate enough to have the help and guidance provided by occupational therapists who worked with them at the college. The occupational therapists were able to help the students with learning how to do everyday tasks such as cooking, laundry, housekeeping chores, and shopping with extended adaptation's if you did require extra support. The students did this as part of their timetable on a Thursday afternoon as part of the students learning to be independent. And sometimes at lunchtime the OT would come to the house and support students to make their own lunch independently whilst the other students were in the dining room in the college. Students did learn how to go shopping and get our shopping too. This was particularly important for Theresa as she wanted to go out independently as Theresa knew that she could do this, but Theresa did have a fear of people understanding her outside in the community. But she was incredibly pleased to have the privilege that she could go out independently by herself. On the 3rd of November 2019 Theresa went for an Audition for Britain Got Talent. Her act was Singing, where she was going to sing, I will always love you by Whitney Houston. At first, she didn’t think that she would go and Participants in the Audition. Theresa then decided to go to the auditions despite what people were saying. Her friends and family supported her by giving her encouragement to go to her audition. And later in life as the years passed by, she was proud that she went.

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