Coleen

These student stories were produced as part of the "Access and Assistance for All" campaign by the British Youth Council, which aims to increase awareness and access to assistive technology within further education. See the main Access and Assistance for All student stories page to learn more about our campaign.

Coleen

Could you tell us a little bit about your background?

I’m a graduate from Leeds Beckett University and have just studied BSc (Hons) Computing for Business. Before I moved to Leeds, I lived in Northern Ireland where I participated in several charitable and volunteering activities which have led me to receive the prestigious Princess Diana Award (2018) and Young Person of the Year of East Belfast (2019).

Have you used any assistive technology and faced barriers?

I have not had any assistive technology barriers myself or have used assistive tech, however, I have witnessed fellow students struggle without this. Leaving them limited in options compared to other students around them that didn’t need assistive technology.

How does this impact their learning?

I’ve witnessed students leave higher education due to the lack of support from their educators. Some students giving up hopes and dreams, and changing to alternative more reachable dreams regardless of whether they desired these or not.

Why have you joined AAA?

Moving from Northern Ireland to Leeds has caused many changes to my everyday life due to the lack of knowledge of volunteering in a new area.

When the opportunity to join AAA arised I believed it was best to put the knowledge I gathered during my Bachelors Degree to greater use and help spread awareness. I wanted to help in spreading not just how important technology is becoming to everybody’s everyday life, but those who need support in using this new tool for development; with the additional impact of assistive tech in not only our careers but ourselves as individuals.

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