National recognition for ‘inspirational’ Rebecca

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A SEVERELY handicapped woman from Kirkby cum Osgodby was runner-up in a national competition which recognises inspirational people with learning disabilities.

Wheelchair-bound 42-year-old Rebecca Ormian cannot speak, has profound learning disabilities, postural and health problems and relies on 24-hour one-to-one support.

But despite her condition, Rebecca has made a difference to the lives of other people with disabilities and has beaten off competition from people around the country to be recognised at the annual Erica Awards – set up by learning disability and autism support provider Dimensions.

Fifteen years ago Rebecca was one of the first profoundly learning disabled people in the country to move into her own wheelchair-friendly home.

This led her to starring in a housing options DVD and a book to help inspire others to live independently.

Her story has been told to people with learning disabilities, families, and social care professionals nationwide as an example of how people can achieve an alternative to group living situations.

A number of families have visited Rebecca at home to see how she lives and, as a result, at least three people with profound learning disabilities have now achieved their own homes.

Rebecca’s father, Michael, said: “I’m very proud of what Rebecca has achieved. It’s great to see that she’s doing something positive.”

Dimensions chief executive and chairman of the judging panel Steve Scown said: “Rebecca is a remarkable lady who proves that life is there for the taking. We really admired her dedication to helping others achieve their goals, using her own experiences to show what is possible.”

Anyone who would like help or advice from Michael can call him on 01673 828718.