Bríd (12) wows the judges with ‘Someone Like Me’ video

Competition was to promote positive attitudes towards disability in primary schools

A clip from “Someone Like Me” a video essay by Bríd Courtney (12) of Ardfert Co Kerry which won a national essay competition hosted by the Dept of Justice and Equality which aims to promote positive attitudes towards disability in primary schools.

 

Bríd Courtney (12) from Ardfert, Co Kerry has won a national essay competition for her inspirational essay video, Someone Like Me.

The award was presented to Bríd by Minister of State for New Communities, Culture and Equality, Aodhán Ó Ríordáin, at a special ceremony held in Farmleigh House in Dublin on Thursday.

The competition, Someone Like Me, saw students from around the country enter a mix of written and video essays to promote positive attitudes towards disability in primary schools.

Many of the students wrote about their own disabilities or those of their friends and families, all with a common theme of celebration.

The judging panel for the competition included children’s author and rugby analyst Brent Pope and children’s author Deirdre Sullivan.

Bríd’s mother, Deirdre Courtney, said her daughter has cerebral palsy which effects her limbs and her speech, so she communicates using her body language and her ipad.

“Technology is fantastic nowadays and has really helped anyone who has a disability,” she said.

Bríd is in sixth class and attends a mainstream school at Ardfert National School in Kerry which Ms Courtney said has always been welcoming and inclusive towards Bríd.

Ms Courtney said the school had plenty of footage of Bríd’s involvement at school going back several years.

“We had lots of footage on the iPad such as sports days at school, when we went to see One Direction and all about her school life. Her class wrote a script and filmed a few extra scenes to bring the film together,” she said.

“The video is a testament to how much Bríd was included in school. This is her last year, but she has been included since day one. There is nothing that Bríd didn’t do or was left out of, all the way through school.It was fantastic to win the county final, but to win the national competition is overwhelming.”

Bríd will begin secondary school at a mainstream school in September and will have a full-time special needs assistant.

Minister of State Aodhán Ó Ríordáin said the competition is an “excellent opportunity” for primary schools students to talk about disabilities.

“It is so important to drive this agenda from a young age and teach children to respect themselves and how unique they are and also to respect the uniqueness of the people around them. Bríd is a thoroughly inspiring winner and her entry was excellent,” he said.