In the summer of 2013, my world came crashing down as I was involved in a motorcycle accident. This was my first experience of living with a physical disability, and it made me realise that the world we live is not as accessible as it seems. Whilst we see the wheelchair symbol everywhere that does not necessarily mean that these facilities are truly accessible. With the help from my friends, family, and the University disability service I was empowered to overcome my challenges and make the most of my time at university. I was enabled to embrace my disabilities through the wheelchair basketball club as well as through learning about my dyslexia and the strengths it comes with. I wanted to help others have a similar journey, so I ran for the post of Disabled Students Officer in my student’s union and have held the post consecutively since. During my time as DSO I have managed to raise awareness and helped the university to make some incredible changes to improve the lives of disabled students, such as flattening the campus bridge, building accessible studio flats, and overhauling the way blue badge parking is managed.
As the newly elected Student Voice Commissioner on the Disabled Students’ Commission I hope to bring my experience and passion for improving the lives of disabled students to make positive change on a national scale. Creating not only accessible campuses and courses but inclusive environments where the barriers faced by disabled students are as reduced as practicable. I hope to achieve this through collaborative working and highlighting the positives of putting accessibility first, helping institutions across the UK be the best they can be!