Global Leaders and Changemakers: Joanna Grace
Joanna Grace: Transforming Lives Through Sensory Engagement and Inclusion
Joanna Grace, the founder of The Sensory Projects, is an international Sensory Engagement and Inclusion Specialist based in the UK, who is dedicated to creating a future where individuals are understood and valued regardless of their differences, is making a significant impact in the lives of individuals with disabilities. Her relentless dedication to understanding and embracing differences has earned her global recognition as a published author, trainer, TEDx speaker, and founder of The Sensory Projects. With her profound insights and personal experience as an autistic individual, Joanna is revolutionizing the way society perceives and supports people with disabilities, contributing to a more inclusive future for all.
Creating Understanding through Sensory Engagement
Joanna’s work revolves around sensory engagement, recognizing that individuals experience the world in diverse and unique ways. By understanding and responding to the sensory differences that some autistic people encounter, Joanna helps foster an environment where individuals with disabilities can thrive. Her expertise lies in creating sensory-rich experiences that enable individuals to connect, communicate, and express themselves in ways that resonate with their unique sensory profiles. With a diverse background and a deep passion for sensory experiences, Joanna has emerged as a leading figure in the field, working tirelessly to promote inclusive practices and empower individuals with special needs. With her wealth of knowledge and expertise, Joanna serves as a Sensory Engagement Specialist, trainer, author, and TEDx speaker. Drawing from her background as a qualified teacher, she has worked in both specialist and mainstream educational settings, catering to students of all ages and abilities. Her work extends beyond the classroom, as she has assessed schools’ provisions for children with additional learning needs, authored curriculum documents for local authorities, charities, and non-governmental organizations, and even served as a registered Foster Carer, offering support to children with profound special needs and their families. Additionally, Joanna has provided valuable guidance in the field of adult care, supporting staff and families in their efforts to provide for individuals with complex disabilities.
In 2010, Joanna established The Sensory Projects, a venture that has become her life’s passion. The organization focuses on sharing knowledge and creativity to transform everyday, inexpensive items into powerful tools for inclusion. Through The Sensory Projects, Joanna aims to bridge the gap between individuals with special needs and the rest of society by creating sensory-rich environments that foster understanding, communication, and engagement. Her work has garnered significant recognition and support, including the successful Sensory Stories Kickstarter project, which received backing from 159 individuals and helped propel The Sensory Projects into the public arena.
Awards and Recognition
The impact of Joanna’s work has not gone unnoticed. She has received numerous awards and recognition for her exceptional contributions to the field of sensory engagement and inclusion. These accolades highlight her dedication and commitment to improving the lives of individuals with disabilities, as well as her tireless efforts to promote understanding and acceptance.
Advocating for Inclusion
Joanna’s advocacy, commitment to inclusion and sensory engagement extends beyond her professional endeavors. She leads by example, as she openly shares that she is autistic. Her personal experience allows her to empathize with and better understand the challenges faced by individuals with neurodivergent conditions. Joanna’s son, the UK’s youngest published author, wrote a book titled “My Mummy is Autistic,” shedding light on the experiences of neurodiverse families. By sharing her personal journey and experiences, Joanna aims to promote acceptance, empathy, and understanding, paving the way for a more inclusive society. Joanna’s advocacy for autism awareness and acceptance resonates deeply, inspiring others to embrace and celebrate differences.
Driving Change and Empowering Others
Joanna’s impact extends far beyond her immediate sphere of influence. She actively participates in podcasts and interviews, sharing her expertise on sensory differences and inclusion. Through her insights and experiences, she educates and empowers others, fostering a deeper understanding of neurodiversity and promoting inclusive practices in various fields. Her commitment to spreading awareness and knowledge contributes to a world where people are understood and accepted, regardless of their differences.
Pioneering Research and Innovation
Driven by her passion for inclusion, Joanna is currently pursuing a doctorate in identity and belonging for people with profound intellectual and multiple disabilities. This research endeavor showcases her commitment to pushing boundaries and advancing our understanding of complex disabilities. Joanna’s academic pursuits will undoubtedly contribute to developing more effective strategies, policies, and support systems, ultimately improving the quality of life for individuals with disabilities.
Joanna Grace, the Sensory Engagement and Inclusion Specialist, is a true changemaker and advocate for individuals with disabilities. Her relentless pursuit of inclusion, extensive knowledge, and personal experiences as an autistic individual and a mother have propelled her to the forefront of the movement for understanding and acceptance. Through her groundbreaking work, she is transforming lives, dismantling stereotypes, and creating a future where everyone is valued and embraced, regardless of their differences. Joanna’s remarkable journey serves as an inspiration for us all to make a positive difference in the world around us. Joanna’s dedication to creating a more inclusive and sensory-friendly world continues to make a profound impact on the lives of individuals with special needs and their families.
In a society where differences are often overlooked or misunderstood, Joanna Grace stands out as a beacon of understanding, compassion, and creativity. Through her innovative approach to sensory engagement and inclusion, she is transforming lives and paving the way for a brighter, more inclusive future.
Let’s hear about Joanna’s life, work and much more in her own words, in a candid conversation.