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April 30, 2018 | by  | in Can Do Opinion | [ssba]

Access Denied

One of the questions I often get asked is if Disability Services and CanDo also include mental illnesses under the definition of disability. We definitely do!

When I first arrived at university, I didn’t consider how my mental illness would affect my study. I was undiagnosed at the time, but as the trimesters wore on I discovered how my mind interacted with the new academic pressures of university. When shit hit the fan, I was left without support.

I came back to university a year later, and approached Disability Services after one of my  friends encouraged me to do so. Bringing my documents with me, the advisor I was assigned explained how they might be able to meet my needs during my study. My advisor also assured me that disclosure of my disability was my choice, and that no information would be provided to my lecturers and tutors without my consent.

Going to Disability Services showed me that academic success is possible with disability. This story may sound generic, but everyone has different needs — and if you find yourself struggling academically due to mental health issues, Disability Services can help you. It is not a weakness to ask for help. In the world of academia, where you must rely on your own determination, it’s easy to admit defeat. I almost did.

But here I am, with one course left in my degree, because I took that step and talked to Disability Services. It exists for students, just as CanDo exists to represent students.

 

Much love,

 

Lilli Street

[ssba]

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