This week’s episode of CYA on Your Sofa has landed and it’s an out of this world experience with real-life superhero Jess Thom.
Jess (aka Tourettes Hero) is an artist, writer and co-founder of a creative organisation called Tourettes Hero which celebrates the humour and creativity of Tourettes syndrome. Jess knows all about Tourettes because she herself has the neurological condition and with it, vocal and motor tics.
She joins Coventry Youth Activists in the third of their interview series (click to watch the episode with actor Sally Phillips) to discuss “changing the world one tic at a time”, the uniqueness and power of every person with a disability and what a level playing field should really mean for social care.
She describes the difference in people’s perceptions and treatment of her as a disabled person using a wheelchair and as a person out of the wheelchair, still with Tourettes. She wants disabled people to have what they need to live the lives that they want to lead.
The whole interview is brilliant – Jess is an engaging person full of humour and insight – but here are a couple of our favourite quotes:
Talking of basic human needs she says: “I don’t want to live a ‘basic life’… I want to go out, meet people, work, be an artist.”
“The thing that I really want for all disabled young people, particularly neurodiverse young people, is to know that they don’t have to change themselves but they can be part of changing the world.”
As Jess puts it, life shouldn’t be about disability as a barrier but about disabling barriers.
This is 20 minutes that could change your view on many things – press play now! With the sound most definitely on.
Find out more about CYA through a collection of stories here.
Learn more about Jess on Twitter and on the Tourettes Hero website by clicking here.
Don’t let isolation stop the conversation… #CYAonYourSofa #ThisIsJustOurOrdinary