To mark International Day of Disabled Persons, we’re excited to share that Jess Hiles, author of ‘Jess the Goth Fairy’, has been announced as a winner of The Learning Disability and Autism Leader’s List 2018, in the category of changing communities.
Diagnosed with learning and physical disabilities from a young age, Jess knows what is like to feel different. Having published three ‘Jess The Goth Fairy’ books alongside her mother Jo Allmond, Jess is a pioneer for people with learning disabilities. She continues to promote equality and individuality, with the message that ‘it’s okay to be different.”
In fact, Jess’ journey to ‘Jess the Goth Fairy’ began with a small sketch and a little imagination. Having drawn a sketch resembling a figure with broken wings, Jess originally had no idea that this would become ‘Jess the Goth Fairy’.
Speaking about the inspiration behind the titular character, Jess’ mother Jo said:
“I kept looking at this quirky figure thinking there must be a story here. Then suddenly, I saw a fairy. I phoned Jess who loved the idea. We put our heads together and came up with ‘The Goth Fairy’”.
Just like the real Jess, ‘Jess the Goth Fairy’ has physical and learning disabilities, with the desire to be treated the same as everyone else.
Keen to promote individuality within the books, Jess also wanted to explore friendship, bullying and dementia, topics which are close to her heart.
As Jess is supported by MacIntyre to live independently, her continued support means a great deal to us. Not only has she changed attitudes with the publication of her books and her involvement with Worcestershire People’s Parliament, but she has she has also undertaken challenges to raise money for a number of charities, including MacIntyre. Most recently, Jess was the inspiration behind ‘Jess’ Gang’s’ zip wire challenge, which raised over £2,000.
We’d like to congratulate Jess on all of her success. She continues to inspire everyone that she meets; teaching us all that ultimately being different is to be celebrated.