‘Accessible Authors’ celebrates inclusivity and diversity with thousands of young people

Written by Lexi Heselwood on 5th February 2024

Children Today celebrated National Storytelling Week this year with ‘Accessible Authors’ – a series of free online storytelling sessions, featuring acclaimed authors whose worked is centred around disability, neurodiversity and inclusivity.

We invited children, schools and other organisations to participate in a series of six, hour-long sessions, which included a live reading by the author followed by a questions and answers session – between January 30th and February 4th.

Authors Kate Foster, Peter Reynolds, Danielle Brown MBE, Jordan Scott, Charlotte Barkla, and Anne Alcott read from their own books, which feature characters with a disability and promote inclusivity.

Throughout the week over 5,500 young people from across the UK  tuned in to the online sessions.


The event organiser, Fiona Harris-Hunt, from Children Today, says:

“This event presented is a unique opportunity for children of all ages to connect with authors bringing personal experiences and characters with disabilities to life!”

From Kate Foster’s heart-warming story ‘PAWS’ about a young boy with Autism navigating his way through starting secondary school, to two-time Paralympic medallist Danielle Brown MBE who shared snippets from her books ‘Run like a Girl’ and ‘Girls Rule’ – which celebrate powerful female role models –  ‘Accessible Authors’ offered something for all ages.

Danielle Brown MBE says:

“People often talk about losing themselves in a story, but I think that it’s important to find yourself. It’s important to be able to see yourself reflected in the pages of a book, but for far too long disability has been underrepresented and misrepresented.

“Working with brilliant charities, like Children Today, who prioritise inclusion and help level the playing field for disabled children is the perfect fit. This helps make inclusive content more accessible and drives important conversations.”

Fiona continues:

“It’s so important that we teach our children to accept others and that our differences are what makes us special. These sessions were all about celebrating our differences and uniqueness as well as giving children a fantastic opportunity to find out more about what being a writer is like.

“With reading and literacy levels requiring development nationally, the event also offered a great opportunity for teachers to bring books and reading to life and promote a love of reading in school children.  

“We were delighted to be able to promote inclusion and inspire a generation of budding authors to follow their dreams!”