I explained what songs I wanted to record. She helped me find the song lyrics – which we searched the internet for – and I practised them lots. We found a recording studio near where I live in Bangor, Northern Ireland. I wanted to record the CD for my birthday so we arranged to go to the studio on 7 July. I practised each song through with Chris Blair, the producer, before I recorded them and if I needed to put some more vocals down he prompted me on what parts.

I recorded three songs, You’re My Best Friend, Crystal Chandeliers and Your Cheating Heart. I was nervous when I was about to record them but my support worker and Chris put me at ease.

I asked could I get ten copies of the CD so I could give it to family and friends and have one for Radio Ulster’s Hugo Duncan as he always lets me sing a song on his roadshow if they are coming to a town near me.


My support worker helped me with a photo shoot for my front cover. I like to play the guitar when I’m at home so she advised me to have my guitar in the photos. We took lots of pictures and I chose which one I was happy with for my CD cover.

I felt I achieved my biggest dream and it was good to have the support from staff to do this. I have decided to go back to the recording studio again this year and record four different songs which I have started practising!

Joanne McDonald talks at the European Day for Persons with Disabilities in Brussels

At the end of November 2016, I was invited to travel to Brussels to attend the European Day for Persons with Disabilities event
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Employment and Personal Development

Find out about our Employment and Personal Development Service
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Barbara Norris Q and A

Barbara Norris is in training for the Mencap Learning Disability Relay Team
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