The boy who wrote a book using only his eyes and has been marked out by the Diana Awards for his achievements Featured

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Published in Malmesbury Newspapers
Saturday, 30 March 2019 06:22
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JONATHAN Bryan wrote a book with his eyes using a Perspex spelling board as he can’t use his arms, fingers or voice.

Now his campaigning and intelligence has been recognised with an award in memory of Diana, Princess of Wales.

Jonathan 13, from Stanton St Quintin, has been chosen as one of 12 outstanding young people, from across the world, to be marked out for The Diana Award’s Change Makers campaign.

The campaign is marking the 20th anniversary year of the awards for young people in memory of the late the princess who died in a road accident in Paris.

Jonathan was born with cerebral palsy and renal failure.

With his mother’s support he learnt at the age of nine to communicate via a Perspex spelling board. His mother or a carer holds the board and he switches his gaze from one character, vowel or symbol to spell out and construct sentences, paragraphs and entire pieces of writing.

It was how he wrote Eye Can Write, with a forward by Sir Michael Morpurgo.

After years of silence, Jonathan found his voice and has since been impassioned to speak out on issues that are very close to his heart.

“I would love to make a difference for children like me in education,” he said using his eyes to speak through the board, “I am also honoured to be chosen to help the Diana Award to get more nominations from more young people.”

He believes that every child should have the opportunity to learn literacy, regardless of their condition, and has worked tirelessly to change the way students with complex disabilities are educated. For this, Jonathan received a Diana Award himself in 2017. In the summer of 2018 he started a charity, Teach Us Too, envisaging a world where all children are taught to read and write regardless of their academic label

Tessy Ojo, CEO of The Diana Award, said: “The stories of the 12 young people, taking part in this campaign to mark our 20th anniversary will drive a new wave of nominations and inspire others to make positive change. Our research reveals that the vast majority of young people want to make a positive impact on society. We urge communities from across the UK to visit our website and tell us about more young people like Jonathan who deserve to be recognised.”

Nominations are open for young people aged nine to 25. The deadline is tomorrow, 29 March 2019. For details visit https://diana-award.org.uk

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