Feeling very excited about the new Frontrunner course for
disabled students. I remember my time at Edinburgh University
fondly - I had a great four years there but it was a real struggle
academically - as it should be, but not to the extent I felt unable
to participate like everyone else.
It took me two years before I could accept that I was never
going to be able to hear well enough to keep up in lectures,
regardless of where I sat in the room. The Disability Office were
fantastic, they offered me a number of ways in which they could
support me. Having said that, I still felt like it was a lonely
battle - I didn't know anyone else there who was deaf like me.
It took me years to realise that I wanted to be a leader and a
role model for people with disabilities.
This new Common Purpose course will go a long way to ensuring
that disabled students don't feel disadvantaged at university,
college or throughout their further education training, and that
they won't be limited academically or socially. It will go a long
way to developing a network of disabled students who can mutually
support each other and who feel empowered and confident to succeed
in every way of life.
I wish that this opportunity had been open to me during my time
at Edinburgh. It would have made a huge difference in how I dealt
with my struggles academically, and would have completely
transformed my mentality that any problems I had with my disability
were best kept silent.
The course will increase the numbers of those who make it
through higher and further education, and raise the threshold
academically. This will go a long way to increasing the employment
opportunities for students when they graduate - as leaders and by
the capabilities their degrees demonstrate.