Johnathan writes about his experience as a disabled student going to the University of East Anglia

Learning new things and experiencing things that I had not beforehand. Such as travelling to South Africa.

For a long time, I wanted to focus on a career path that I was passionate about, for myself that was animals and conservation. It took me four years to complete my degree due to poor health. But in those four years, I learned so much, I was offered so many experiences that I would never have been able to do if it wasn’t for my course.

“adjustments being made, I was able to take part in pretty much every activity that was

offered to us”

I was nervous at the start as I am a shy person and find it hard to mix with others. But, on day one of my induction, I pretty much spoke to all the students and had a good friendship with most of them throughout.

It was tough to start with as sadly the course was not strictly accessible, but after many meetings and adjustments being made, I was able to take part in pretty much every activity that was offered to us.

When it came to assessments all special measures were put in place such as note-takers, extra time, 1-1 support (not care). My only negative was sometimes a new tutor would forget about my needs, but after discussions that did turn around. The lift broke down a lot, this meant there were some lectures I could not attend as the university were unable to move classrooms.

In my last year I worked remotely from home, I really enjoyed working at my own pace and still had full support from my lectures at university.

“I would recommend anyone to go to university, not just for the learning but also the social aspect”

I would recommend anyone to go to university, not just for the learning but also the social aspect. I was a mature student when I signed up – but it felt like I learned a lot about myself when I finally graduated in 2020.

My advice is to make sure your place of study understands your full-needs. Make sure you are honest and open to them about your expectations. Explain to the university what you want to gain from your own experience.

Good luck to all who begin their studies.

Take care Johno

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