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Disability Narratives

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Video clip: Some colleagues, Liz found, were better than she was at anticipating ways to support her.

I think generally I've found that my colleagues and people here have actually been in some ways better at that than me. So people have been giving me more space, and allowing more time. And it's taken me a while to go oh, actually - they're actually giving me a lot more space and time, and it allows me to relax a bit. But people have sort of been anticipating that. Whereas I hadn't anticipated it [laughing], I was just like racing and wanting to do everything as per normal. And , and realised that that quality of kind of patience, and letting things be for a bit, is something that my colleagues here are actually quite good at.

I think so. I think we have a very small team. So, [department] - there is just kind of - it's our little department within the faculty. And it's very small. There's only, you know, six or seven of us involved in teaching and then, so it's a very small group. I think that helps. And yeah, and we're all friends. And I think that also helps. So, yeah. And that group have been hugely supportive. So, you know, right from the beginning I, when I started to open up from just only seeing family, to starting to see other people - you know - couple of my colleagues here were the first people, in that first group that I opened up to. And having that was really helpful. So they were coming to see me at the hospital, and updating me on the progress of some of the students. And making me feel like I was part of the department. Even though I wasn't actively doing anything, they were - you know - seeking my advice on things. Which I'm sure they didn't need to, but - you know - they were just like "Oh, what do you think about this and this?" And, and that was - that made me feel like I was back in the department again, and that was great.

So, and I made a point of going to a couple of events, towards the end of the academic year, this year, to see people. So when I started actually coming back to work, the students would have seen me, so they would know what to look at. I would have talked to them, so there wouldn't be such awkwardness around it. And that helped. So, I went to a couple - I forced myself to go to a couple of functions, just to - Including our department summer party, just to kind of see people again, and kind of go "Look, I'm back!" And you know, "You can talk to me, even though I can't hear most of what you say." [Laughing]. And all that sort of thing, so.