I enrolled on the HND in Computing in 1994, following a timetable of lectures and seminars specially arranged around me - staff had to ensure that all my classes took place on the ground floor as the regulations covering the listed University buildings would not allow the installation of lifts.

Two months before the course started, I ordered a new laptop free from Humberside LEA (Local Education Authority). A few weeks passed and still I hadn’t got my laptop. I had to use the laptop that I had from five years before, but it is so slow my tortoise can go faster and it kept crashing, but I battled on with it, handing in my assignments in on time. I kept asking, "When is my new laptop coming?" I used to get the same old story, "It's coming soon." I thought "I bet it is!"

My brand new laptop finally arrived in March 1995. I couldn't believe it, it was only seven months late!! I thought I was dreaming, but no, it was the real thing.

I use a head pointer for typing, sometimes this can be a laborious process none the less allowing me a writing speed of approximately 12 words per minute nowadays.

However this is still slow compared to an able bodied person, therefore I had great difficulty in keeping to assignment deadlines and had to take two years to complete the first level of his HND. Maybe this was due to not getting my new laptop until March.

I made the decision to try to complete the final year in just one year along with the other students. This presented me with a real challenge - I had to work harder than ever just to keep up and there were many written projects to complete. Phew!!!

While most students worry about exams and the total concentration for up to

three hours, I was allowed double the time to sit this exams because of my typing difficulties. The other students sat three hour exams - each exam basically took all day for me. And it was not just a matter of doing the work. I use a lot of energy when I am typing because of my lack of speed. My hair and T-shirt would be soaked in sweat at the end of each paper.

When I received the letter saying I had passed, I had to read it twice just to be sure.

After completion of a Higher National Diploma in Computing, I decided to get transferred on to the second year of BSc in computing. Sadly I had some disagreements with the access and they kept forgetting about me. I failed the year by one unit. This meant I couldn’t go on the final year on the BSC. Basically I failed one unit due to access problems, consequently they kicked me off the course. I have worked hard to get to this position and I thought this was unfair so I went to Humberside Law Centre to fight my case. After 5 months we came to an agreement. I could resit the unit for free and if I passed I would be allowed on the final year of the BSc. I passed the single unit with flying colours. (of course)

The final year was the biggest challenge of my life. The final year of a degree is hard enough for an able-bodied person so it was even harder for me, especially with a head pointer and also I was still having access problems. Despite all the problems I actually kept up with the able bodied students in the semaster of the final year. In the final semanter of the final year I had a little more time as I had to do a dissertation, and a group project on top of the normal assignments. I did have extra time and so did some other students.

Overall I have enjoyed doing the course, it has been a good challenge for me, and I

have met a lot of friendly people from all over the world. I hope my success will encourage both disabled and non-disabled people to take that uncertain step towards higher education. 12 years ago the odds for me going to University would have been a million to one. So everyone can achieve something in life, but you have work hard to reach your goal. I wonder how many people have done a degree with a head pointer?

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