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Tobi's Story

To mark our 30th anniversary, we’re releasing 30 stories from wheelchair users across our history.

This ambitious and historic project will result in stories being archived as part of the The British Library Sound Archives ensuring that the life experiences of wheelchair users today are captured forever. With thanks to the National Lottery Heritage Fund and The British Library for their support.

I am the true definition of intersectionality’ Tobi told us during her ’30 Years, 30 Stories’ interview. Her unique story of being a black disabled Muslim, foster care experienced, bisexual, wheelchair user is a rare and unique story that needs listening to…

Tobi begins by describing the moment she saw a large group of wheelchair users doing all kinds of activities which made her realise, ‘Wow, the sky is the limit’. Receiving a sports wheelchair from Whizz-Kidz when younger helped set Tobi off onto a path of becoming a dancer. Her teacher supported her passion and opened that door to the world of dance, “It’s the one thing that no-one can take from me. I literally gave up being a Paralympian for dance.”

Listen to the highlights of her candid interview here or watch the video below: 

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Living with Osteogeneis Imperfecta, she describes how during practising dance, be it Indian dance, ballet or contemporary, she would often break a bone so she would have to start her routine all over again.

This did not however, affect her grades, in fact she changed the National curriculum for GCSE Dance across the UK so that disabled students can be fairly marked, she received an A! She is now a Dance and TV Broadcasting Media graduate!

Having grown up in 18 different foster homes, Tobi describes the battle to finding a “culturally open” home. She was often the only person of colour that lived in the town or village and some schools she attended, “something most children don’t have to think about.” She began living on her own at 17 and has since been fiercely independent. “ I felt like I needed to make my own way because I wanted to look at another disabled foster care lever in the eye and say ‘it’s possible.’”

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For Kidz

For Families

For Supporters