I am the Course Leader for BSc Equine Science/Equine Science and Thoroughbred Management, which is run in partnership with Abingdon and Witney College. I have two horses, three cats and numerous chickens.
As an individual with a diagnosed Autism Spectrum Disorder (Asperger’s) I do sometimes find that Brookes has an environment that can really affect me with its levels of noise, and I often go to seek out a quiet area.
Disabled role models are really important, as many young people have no expectation of how well they can actually do in life, without access to someone who can share their particular experiences. I do struggle to reveal my disability, as I have had situations in the past where it has made things very difficult, but this is improving as public knowledge widens.
My ability to remember everything can sometimes get in the way of retaining and acting on important issues, and one way to describe Asperger’s is that you are tuned into many different radio stations, each of which you are trying to listen to. In another aspect it helps me in my research work, as I can remember many authors’ names and exactly what they did.
My message to prospective staff and students would be to make sure your disability, if it is an invisible one, is mentioned, and be brave! It can help so much in many situations if people understand why you do not answer them, or forget what should be simple things!
“Disabled role models are really important, as many young people have no expectation of how well they can actually do in life, without access to someone who can share their particular experiences.”