– Inclusive STEAM Interpretation Consultant –
My name is Becky Ealy and I am autistic with Irlen syndrome, which went undiagnosed for most of my school life and further education career. I have a degenerative disc disease in my lumbar and cervical spine which causes nerve pain and other physical difficulties with my hands and legs; thus I use walking aids and have assistive technology for using my laptop.
I have spent my life surrounded by people with various physical and learning disabilities due to family circumstances, which means that I have grown up understanding other people’s needs and differences as well as having a young son who is on the autistic spectrum and will require constant hospital supervision due to having had Neuroblastoma, a rare childhood cancer, as even though he is in ‘remission’ we do not know what the long-term effects of chemotherapy will be.
During the last 10 years I have become more aware of intellectual barriers due to my own visual difficulties and further study into learning difficulties within, but not exclusive to, autistic spectrum conditions. I have struggled personally throughout my own studies with physical and mental issues which meant that I had to take more time to complete the courses I was enrolled within. This has provided me with an eager to help close the access gap between education and those with disabilities.
Other than being passionate about social inclusion and education for all, I have had a lifelong love and interest in museums; this began when I first visited The Natural History Museum, formerly the “British Museum of Natural History” when I was 6 years old in 1989.
I wanted to be a Palaeontologst who went on expeditions and came back to tell people all about the discoveries, places and the dinosaurs. My early interest in science communication and interpretation eventually led to a BSc in Geosciences, a BSc (hons) in Palaeobiology and Evolution and the eventual recommendation of doing a Museum Studies Course.
STEAMclusion is my battlecry! So many neurodiverse people have obessions and fixations on certain topics; mine was and still is dinosaurs and all things palaeontology related! So many get put off of STEM subject careers because of their limits within traditional education settings, but this can be changed by museums and heritage sites telling different stories and engaging people to go beyond the limitations that society imposes on them. So now, I am a self-employed consultant for inclusive STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Mathematics) interpretation and intellectual access evaluation.