About Jo Grace
Joanna Grace is an international sensory engagement and inclusion specialist, doctoral researcher, trainer, author, TEDx speaker and founder of The Sensory Projects. The Sensory Projects run on the principle that with the right knowledge and a little creativity, inexpensive resources can become effective sensory tools for inclusion. You can find out about the various projects at www.TheSensoryProjects.co.uk
Joanna is a qualified teacher who has taught in mainstream and special school connecting with pupils of all ages and abilities. Joanna has also worked in a consultancy capacity to support schools to further their provision for children with additional learning needs. Since setting up The Sensory Projects Joanna's work has expanded, and she regularly works with adult care providers, heritage settings and families. Joanna draws on experience from her own life as well as insight from the research world and her professional background to inform her work. Joanna has family members with physical disabilities and neurodiverse conditions and has also been a foster carer for children with complex disabilities. Joanna is autistic and this enables her to take in huge amounts of information on a particular topic, Joanna uses her ability to focus on the sensory world to inform her work. Joanna is currently studying for a doctorate in Identity and Belonging for People with Profound and Multiple Learning Disabilities.
Joanna's first book Sensory Stories: A Practical Guide sells globally and is a well-thumbed document in many a special school classroom. Her subsequent books:
- Sensory-being for Sensory Beings, which looks at the development of the senses and how to use this knowledge to promote sensory engagement,
- Sharing Sensory Stories and Conversations with people with Dementia, which very much does what the title suggests,
- Multiple Multisensory Rooms: Myth Busting the Magic, which explores the key ingredients of a successful sensory room and the common barriers to effective practice
are also widely read and are beginning to go global!
Joanna publishes an every growing range of Sensory Stories at The Sensory Projects, and recently became a children's author with her books:
- Voyage to Arghan - which tells of the journey made by a little girl who wins a competition to be the first child in space. (The protagonist of this book has Downs Syndrome).
- Ernest and I - which follows the adventures of a boy and his toy penguin living a life at sea. (The protagonist in this book is Autistic).
- Spike and Mole - in which you can meet a funny little hedgehog who lives inside his spikes rather in the way that a tortoise might live inside its shell and how he helps a tenacious little mole in the garden one day when disaster strikes.
Jo's posts on SNJ
- Using a different lens for neurodivergent children: Don’t treat them as younger, give them the tools to achieveA little while ago someone on my Facebook posted a meme that supposedly showed the functional age of a child…Continue reading »
- Exploring the “subtle spectrum” of autistic discoveryWhat is The Subtle Spectrum of autism? People looking for the genetic roots of autism have identified around a hundred…Continue reading »
- Ambitious and inclusive sensory story-tellingAbout a decade ago an impossible dream of mine came true. Special Needs Jungle was a part of that happening,…Continue reading »
- Myth-Busting the ‘magic’ of multiple multi-sensory roomsTania's note: as many of you know, Joanna Grace is a Sensory Engagement and Inclusion Specialist, (normally) running training events…Continue reading »
- Observing many ‘nows’ to infer a choice, for people with profound learning disabilitiesHere is a situation you will probably have encountered: an adult holds out two toys to a child, asking, “Which…Continue reading »
- Coronavirus: Sensory resources for children with SENDWe are living through strange times; big things are happening to small people. I have a five-year-old son and I…Continue reading »
- Measure for measure: how do we judge the quality of a life?The Bake-Off contestants race to uncover today’s technical challenge. In their haste, one contender reads the instruction to add two…Continue reading »
- Sensory toys don’t work on their own.Suppose I told you I was going to teach your child maths, and then I dumped a load of maths…Continue reading »
- Adventures of the sensory kind for National Multi-Sensory Storytelling DayThe 24th of September is National Multi-Sensory Storytelling Day and I'd like to tell you about an exciting event to…Continue reading »
- Why your instababy snaps could spell danger to looked-after childrenoI am a sensory engagement specialist. I spend a lot of my time looking at how our early sensory experiences…Continue reading »
- A sensory being’s Christmas wish listRecently I posted a Christmas Shopping List on Facebook that has done its best to go viral. As someone who…Continue reading »
- Join the world’s first fully-inclusive, fantastically fun, Super Sensory race!Tania's note: Jo Grace is back to tell us about something you may like to get involved with! Parallel London…Continue reading »
- The joyful sensory world: Our differences and how we are all the sameTania writes: A few years ago, I ran a guest post from Jo Grace who was crowdfunding to raise funds…Continue reading »
- Help kick-start a project to make low-cost Sensory Stories!Tania writes: So many of the people I meet who are involved with special needs have an absolute passion for…Continue reading »