Celebrating Disability History Month at Keighley College

22 November, 2022 1:40 pm

This week is the beginning of Disability History Month, an annual celebration that recognises the achievements of people living with additional needs.

To mark the occasion, we’re sharing stories from some of our extraordinary students who have overcome personal challenges, as well as spotlighting the work we have done to support learners and members of our community.

Here at Keighley College, we believe that everyone should be treated with dignity and respect, and we’re committed to building an inclusive environment for everyone.

Sporting success for Dylan

This year’s theme is ‘disability, health and wellbeing’, so it’s only fitting that we start off with a sports-related accomplishment.

Enter Dylan Lightowler, a Foundation Studies student who was named Young Disability Sportsperson of the Year for the second time at the Bradford Sports Awards in April.

Dylan trains three times a week and has his sights set firmly on the paralympics, all whilst working towards his Independent Living course at Keighley College.

Following his second win, Dylan said, “I’m so grateful to those who recognised my hard work and training, which I continued to do at home during lockdown. I love running and shot put, so I hope to reach my full potential at the next paralympics and the Special Olympics World Games.”

Dylan’s drive and determination shows that your potential is not limited by your cirumstances, and his story is an inspiration to anyone wanting to make their mark in the sporting world.

A helping hand with moving on

When students leave us, we want them to have the confidence to go out into the world and succeed. But it’s important to remember that no two paths to success are the same.

That’s why earlier this year we hosted our first ‘Moving On’ event. Students with additional needs were given the opportunity to speak to a range of different organisations about their options once they leave.

SEND Coordinator at the college, Jeanie Forster, said: “This was all about helping the students find out about the support that they can access once they have finished their time at college. It was also a great chance for them to build contacts while seeing what organisations are out there.”

“We got some very positive feedback from both the participating guests and students about how useful this event was.”

Much of the disabled community face everyday barriers to things other people take for granted. This event was a fantastic opportunity to raise awareness of this, and ensure that every student gets the very best chance of achieving their dreams.

Caring in the community

At Keighley College, we’re proud to have students prepared to go the extra mile for others. Step forward our heroic team of complex care workers, five students who have been helping people in our community with additional needs, as part of their health and social care work placements. 

Their mission was to help these individuals live independently in their own homes, by supporting with everything from medication and dietary needs to simply being a friend.

Rohima Ali, course leader at Keighley College, commented: “As a community-focused college, we’re dedicated to supporting local people as much as possible.

“The students have worked incredibly hard to keep people safe in their homes and ensure they have their personal care needs met.”

The work of these students proves that we all have it within us to make someone with additional needs’ life that bit easier. The only thing left to ask is: what will you do this Disability History Month?