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Disability Narratives

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Video clip: Jo explains that it can take confidence and sometimes a little initiative, but it is okay to seek the support you need.

Yeah. So, I'd say there is equipment out there that will help you, whatever your physical need. Emotional need. Anything. You might have to look for it yourself, but just do that. Nothing, no one is going to criticise you for looking for something that will make your life easier. And also at the university there are people there, such as the Disability Services Networks, Disability Service Department, your own health and safety, human resources. And they are there to help support you. So don't worry about asking for things, you know, such as smaller keyboards. Or to say to someone "Oh, my arm's hurting, and I think it's because of the way I'm sitting." You know, you can just go and say "I think I need a different chair."

My husband, he's six foot three, so normal sized chairs he finds they cramp him a bit. So he's got a sort of long chair or something that occupational health got for him. So it's not just disabled staff, it's all staff who might have a different sort of need or ability that just can be compensated for. And I think it - again, it's that confidence of knowing when to ask, where to ask, even how to ask. So, for things like the phones, I would find them myself and then just go to IT, copy in human resources and say "I need this, get it." [Laugh].

In the case of like repetitive strain injury, the occupational health service basically sent me over a load of things to try, and I chose my favourite of the things. So the small keyboard, the mouse that looks like a penguin [laugh]. You know, I can - So it's basically just knowing that you can go out to occupational health, the union, Disability Services, and say "I just need a bit of help with this." And that's okay to do.