Disabled students at Cambridge have shared their stories in an insightful series of films – with the aim of encouraging others to apply to the university.
Alison Madgwick, pictured above, is one of 18 students who appear in Meet Disabled Students, a film showing the diversity of students at Cambridge.
She also talks in more depth about her own experience as a natural sciences student with Asperger syndrome in a separate two-minute film.
“I took part because I wanted to raise awareness of the issues facing disabled students at university,” she said.
“I wanted to reassure prospective disabled students that there are disabled students at Cambridge and that there is support available for them here.
“Before I started my course, I was worried that the tutors wouldn’t understand my differing needs from other members of the course.
“This turned out not to be a problem and I was able to get all the extra support and equipment that I needed by explaining my situation to the Disability Resource Centre.”
The university hopes that the films will encourage other disabled students with academic potential to feel more confident about applying.
“Disabled students can face considerable barriers both in accessing and participating in higher education,” said John Harding, head of the university’s Disability Resource Centre (DRC).
“Our student volunteers have helped us to show that Cambridge can be an excellent choice for disabled students.
“We also want to encourage potential applicants to disclose their disability at an early stage in their application.
“This is separate from any academic assessment but means that support requirements can be understood and adjustments put into place as soon as a disabled student starts term.”
The films were produced by the DRC and the Cambridge Admissions Office. Meet Disabled Students can be viewed at www.study.cam.ac.uk/undergraduate/support/disability/