A selection of images by British photographer Leia Ankers. Diagnosed with cerebral palsy at the age of three, Ankers’ series is informed by her personal experience and the desire to change our perceptions of people with dual sensory impairment and other disabilities.
“Since a young age I have stigmatised myself through my differences…. It became apparent over time, that everyday objects and environments are very important. We use our senses all the time but most of that is by default and not conscious awareness. Most of the time we take our senses for granted.”
The first subject in Ankers’ series is Cordelia who appears in a hydrotherapy pool. Cordelia has cerebral palsy. She is also deaf and blind in one eye with limited sight in the other. For Cordelia, the ability to move and connect with others is important. While she can use a wheelchair to move anywhere she wants, independence is easiest for her to achieve in the water where she doesn’t require the support of a wheelchair or carers. The pool is a place of freedom. It allows her to be seen how she wants to be.
Michelle appears in Ankers’ series with a record player in her bedroom. Born in the age of Rubella, Michelle was one of the many babies born without eyes or ears. She has had operations to restore some of her hearing and music is one of her favourite things. Setting up her record player, Michelle first touches her drawers for support and then raises her other arm to feel where the player is. She always plugs it into the second socket of her adapter. Then to find the vinyl she wants, she feels the circle sticker to recognize it through the texture.
See more images from “The Same As You” below.