I learned so much about myself and had to learn to manage my care team along with my educational and professional life in order to take advantage of all aspects which university had to offer. I thought if I can do this, I can do anything!”
Josh Barry studied BA (Hons) Scriptwriting for Film and Television and MA Writing for the Media at BU and is now challenging perceptions of living with a disability in his soon to be published autobiography.
“I’d always been fascinated by the world of entertainment but because of my Cerebral Palsy, I realised at an early age that it wouldn’t be possible for me to follow in my idols’ footsteps as my lack of verbal dexterity would prevent it. I was determined that I wanted to do something relating to entertainment and thought if I couldn’t perform, perhaps I could write the words for other people. It was clear that scriptwriting was perfect for me. Back in 2005, BU was the only university that offered a degree solely on the art of scriptwriting so I knew that BU was the right university for me.”
Josh grew up on the Isle of Wight and lived there with his family until coming to BU, and was initially unsure about the transition from secondary school to higher education with a severe physical disability. For Josh, university brought a series of challenges and achievements.
“University is unlike any other experience in life. You’re at the stage of your life where you have little responsibility and you embrace the freedom of the experience. Having twenty four hour care for the first time in my life, I learned so much about myself and had to learn to manage my care team along with my educational and professional life in order to take advantage of all aspects which university had to offer. I thought if I can do this, I can do anything!”
Having built a career as a freelance writer, Josh regularly publishes blogs and interviews with celebrities from the entertainment world at Beyond the Title. A placement at an entertainment centre during his degree saw Josh create a blog to promote the venue’s events. He said: “This was a great experience and 10 years later I am now running an entertainment-based website writing blogs on all aspects of the arts.”
Josh feels that his time at BU set him up well in his career: “To be able to say that I graduated from a Centre of Excellence in Media Practice is a major pull when enticing new professionals to take me seriously.”
Over the last seven years, Josh has been writing a book about his life as a disabled man living in mainstream society. His autobiography – Adapted – aims to inspire readers to think differently about their own perceptions of disability. The book is about to be published and Josh is preparing to attend a series of literary festivals to help promote it. He said: “I am extremely passionate about all areas of the arts and the book will expand the mediums I use to communicate. I like to think that my Cerebral Palsy gives me a unique take on the world and I hope that people enjoy reading what I have to say.”
For current students looking to follow in his footsteps, Josh has one important bit of advice: “for creative subjects, individuality is the key to success.”
“Make sure everything echoes your own passion. Honestly, it’s vital!”