The women breaking down disability barriers, one country at a time

Joan Latta, from Fakenham in Spain on tour. Picture: Joan Latta

Joan Latta, from Fakenham in Spain on tour. Picture: Joan Latta - Credit: Archant

Her mission has taken her around the world to break down barriers about disability, but she is now looking to one day spread the word even further.

Joan Latta, 27, from Fakenham, completed another speaking tour in February, before the coronavirus crisis reached such massive levels. This time she returned from Spain, after visiting Hong Kong, Singapore and Macau. She talks to students in schools and universities about living with cerebral palsy.

“I want to give inspiration to other disable people, as well as educating able people,” said the 27-year-old.

“I suffered from severe bullying when I was at school. This gave me a great drive to succeed.

“This has taught me how life is so precious.

“I hope through my talks and education that bullying will not happen in the next generation.”

There were plans to go to Malta as well, but due to the coronavirus, she had to postpone the event.

Miss Latta runs her own business, Cerebral Palsy Alive and Kicking, which she created with help from the Prince Trust. She also graduated from the open university.

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As well as this, she took up skiing after it was suggested she join the club in Norwich. Miss Latta has only been on the slopes for three years but has gone onto win gold at her skiing club championship and silver at the Special Olympics.

She plans to carry on with the skiing and hopes to move up to more advance competitions. She also hopes to conquer two wheels, as riding a bike is another one of her personal goals

“I am very proud because even though I have difficulties, I have achieved so much in my life”, Miss Latta said.

She is hoping to carry on the work she has been doing, with more talks abroad in schools, charities and organisations.

She also hopes to get back into a more permanent role at a school as the former Fakenham High School pupil was made redundant from her role as a teaching assistant at a special needs school in Christmas 2013.

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