Alice Tai MBE, paralympic swimmer and BU honorary graduate
Alice was born with a clubfoot and before the age of 12, she had undergone 14 corrective operations to alleviate her condition, sometimes needing a wheelchair for long periods of time during recovery.
In January 2022, her right leg was amputated below the knee after worsening pain in her right foot. But Alice didn't let that interrupt her swimming career. Just six months later, in July 2022, she won a gold medal in the 100m backstroke at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham – adding to her evergrowing collection of medals and sporting achievements.
Dr Camila Devis-Rozental and Clive Gilbert: influencing change
The Shaw Trust Disability Power 100 celebrates the UK's most influential disabled people and organisations.
In August 2022, two members of our community – Dr Camila Devis-Rozental, Principle Academic in Socio-emotional Intelligence (SEI) and Service Excellence, and Clive Gilbert, Senior Policy and Research Manager, Assistive and Accessible Technology – were recognised for the impact of their work, featuring in this year's Power 100.
Camila's research has explored the concept of SEI, with a focus on higher education teaching and learning. She has applied this to her day-to day work at BU, developing and delivering an academic and professional practice unit, which engages students to develop holistically, including consideration of their Socio-emotional Intelligence.
As a partner of BU, Clive has been, and continues to be, instrumental in driving forward our assistive technology education and research. In particular, his report, ‘Smarter Homes for Independent Living: Putting People in Control of Their Lives’, has played a vital role in shifting the national discussion around social care and technology.
“I feel extremely honoured to be part of this prestigious group of people. Ultimately my goal is to humanise education. This can only be achieved be celebrating diversity, and fully including – and embracing – marginalised voices.”
Dr Camila Devis-Rozental
Charlotte, a lecturer within our Faculty of Media & Communication, has been on quite a journey with BU.
As a shy student starting at BU 10 years ago, Charlotte initially struggled with speaking in front of her peers and lecturers. Over time, she adjusted to life as a student, and credits BU's support networks – and her cohort – in helping to boost her confidence.
Since then, she’s gone on to complete a Master’s degree and PhD at BU, and, ultimately, join our academic staff.
“A highlight of my university experience was speaking about my final year thesis at BU’s annual Showcasing Undergraduate Research Excellence conference. After presenting a paper based on my dissertation and winning an award for my research on representations of disabilities in literature, I realised that I wanted to continue to contribute to academia. Disabled people are often mis-represented in the public sphere, including within literature, which can lead to negative ideas and attitudes about our lived experiences.”
Meet more BU graduates making an impact
See the difference our research is making
Campaign for change with SUBU
Run by students for students, your Students' Union, SUBU, is here to make your university experience better.
If you're passionate about campaigning for change and getting your voice heard, SUBU's Liberation Campaigns are a great way to do this. There are six in total, including the Disabilities, Accessibility & Neuro-Diverse Campaign.
Led by the elected Disabilities, Accessibility & Neuro-Diverse Officer for the academic year, the campaign supports students who self-define within this group, including those with physical disabilities, hidden impairments and mental health conditions, and welcomes allies from across the BU community.
Supporting our community
Our Disability & Additional Learning Support (ALS) team
For those students who have a learning difference, such as dyslexia or dyspraxia, or a medical or mental health condition, or a physical or sensory impairment, our Disability & ALS team are on hand to support and guide them throughout their time with us.
As well as one-to-one support tailored to individual needs, the team run specific skills workshops – designed to enhance independent learning.
They can also help with a range of other areas, from exam access arrangements to assisting with applications for the Disabled Students’ Allowance.
“As someone who has fibromyalgia, dyslexia, personality disorder and chronic fatigue, I always felt that my conditions would hold me back. But thanks to the support of the ALS team and other services, my dream of becoming a nurse now seems achievable.”
Katie, a final year BSc (Hons) Adult Nursing student, on her disabilities and overcoming self-doubt. Read Katie's blog.
We've been recognised by and signed up to a number of national equality schemes – reinforcing our commitment to making sure that everyone feels welcome at BU: