Jon was born with a cleft lip and palate. He is a graduate and currently works as a freelance producer of arts and events. Jon is also involved with the CLAPA Adult Voices network for adults born with cleft.
Jon is a graduate and currently works freelance as an arts and event producer. Jon was born with a cleft lip and palate and is a single child. When he was born his mother the Cleft Lip and Palate Association (CLAPA) was in its infancy. Jon did experience some teasing as a boy in primary school and this persisted at the boarding school for boys where he completed his secondary education. Jon has undergone extensive surgery throughout his infancy, teenage years, and up until he was 20 years of age. As a young adult Jon also considered further surgery for jaw alignment but opted not to go ahead as he did not want to go through the post-op recovery at a time when he was enjoying his independent life.
Jon was academic at school and progressed to higher education. Subsequently, Jon has worked in engineering within the oil industry and has been involved in a number of business ventures before he began producing arts events on a freelance basis. Jon finds working within the arts world a relatively more accepting place, particularly if you have a visible difference such as a cleft.
Although Jon has achieved well in education and business, and has lived in many different locations, he sometimes wonders if and how his life would be different if he did not have a visible cleft. In particular, as a single male, Jon is aware that having a cleft may hinder romantic relationships, particularly in the age of online dating. As an adult Jon has identified more with his cleft and is aware from his own and others experience that there is a gap in emotional and psychological support available for adults born with a cleft lip and/or palate. Thus Jon became involved with the Adult Voices group, a forum in which adults born with cleft can share their experiences and support others in living with the condition, as well as providing feedback to CLAPA.