"In making that first contact, I opened a door ..."

Every six seconds, somebody makes a phone call to the Samaritans. Two such people, Jon and Georga, made that phone call. Now they speak candidly about just how important that decision was in saving their lives.

The Samaritans offer confidential and non-judgemental emotional support to those feeling distress or despair for all kinds of reasons. Whether you are a student under stress, or just someone who feels alone and you've hit rock bottom ... anyone, anywhere can turn to the Samaritans.
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'Journaling' - unfortunately when most of us hear that, we immediately think of teenage girls writing about high school crushes.

In reality, journaling is one of the most effective ways to shed negative emotions such as anxiety, stress or depression by putting it to pen and paper (or computer and keyboard) and examine it from an objective standpoint, rather than spiralling deeper and deeper with an overwhelmingly negative monologue.

Thus, Dr Sandford has taken to calling it 'self-therapy' as he delivers this enlightening talk on the uses of journaling. So if you are struggling with mental health or just need to get something off your chest, why not try 'self-therapy'?
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"When you learn to love yourself, when you learn to master your emotions ... then and only then are you free".

Sean Stephenson, author, therapist and motivational speaker, delivers a serious helping of #WednesdayWisdom by telling about the only thing that's really keeping you prisoner - your mind.

Despite being born with osteogenesis imperfecta, which leaves him no more than 3 feet tall, with fragile bones and wheelchair bound, the only thing that's ever held Sean back is the prison of his mind - and now he's here to tell us all how to be free of it.

Please enjoy this profound, hilarious and enlightening talk 🙂
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For people with Autism, loneliness is a sadly common feeling. It is often difficult for them to communicate their feelings and opinions, and making friends can be a real hardship.

Fortunately, they are able to turn to charities like Autism Anglia. With support available to them, autistic people don't have to feel quite so lonely all the time.

Thanks to Autism Anglia for their great work, and this video!
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"I got 99 problems ... palsy is just one".

Maysoon Zayid, comedian, actress and dancer, brings the house down but lifts our spirits with this hilarious yet uplifting story about her life with Cerebral Palsy and her incredible successes, breaking through the glass ceilings of being a disabled Muslim female with her father's motto: "You can do it, yes you can-can"!

Food for #ThursdayThoughts ... and laughs!
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Disabled athletes or superhumans?

Perhaps it's time we reinvent the word 'disability' and stop associating it with the common stigma of inability to do certain things, of being lame or useless, and just watch what happens when those we call 'disabled' can swim or run so blindingly fast or lift several hundred kilos! Does that sound 'disabled' to you?

How's this for #MondayMotivation?
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"Because a mentor believed in my potential - because my coach treated me like a person" ... it really doesn't take much for disabled people to succeed, other than encouragement and support. Same as anyone else really when you think about it!

Food for #ThursdayThought, courtesy of the What Can You Do Campaign!
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'The only real and consistent disability I've had to confront is the world ever thinking that I could be labelled by those terms [broken, useless, done in]"

Aimee Mullins, record breaking paralympian, athlete, actress and model, was born without her shinbones, and thus had both her lower legs amputated at the age of one. Yet she boasts one of the most inspiring success stories in recent sport history. But why shouldn't she be able to accomplish these things? Because of a label like 'disability'?

In this talk, Aimee challenges the conventional meaning of 'disability' and talks passionately about the true potential given by the 'opportunities of adversity'. If this isn't #wednesdaywisdom, I don't know what is!
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Who needs arms anyway? Not this incredible mother/son duo! Meet Linda Bannon and her son Timmy, who were born without arms; a condition brought on by Holt Oram Syndrome. Despite the loss of their arms, they lead full, independent lives - and do things I can't do with two good arms!

How's this for #TuesdayMotivation?
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'More alike than different' - truer words were never spoken as these young men and women with Down Syndrome describe their hobbies, their jobs, their desires - all of which sound perfectly normal!

Perhaps deep down, people with Down Syndrome, Autism, Dyslexia, you name it - perhaps we're all "normal" at the end of the day?

Food for #ThursdayThoughts 🙂
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"[Getting help] when you need to isn't a sign of weakness; properly addressing your problems means that you can conquer them - this shows strength".

Incredible bit of #WednesdayWisdom from young Billy Wilson in this video regarding his struggle with Anxiety and Depression.
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'I'm not your inspiration' - Stella Young, comedian and journalist who just so happens to need a wheelchair, speaks out against what she sees as the objectification of people with disabilities by turning them into sources of inspiration, rather than just treating them like people.

But what do you think? Do you agree with Stella's sentiment, or do you think that disabled people being 'inspiring' isn't a bad thing? Why not post a comment below?

Food for #TuesdayThoughts!
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As Learning Disability Week 2017 approaches its end, let us take a moment to think about how we treat those with learning disabilities. Despite the fact that they may be slower learners and some may have difficulty communicating, they deserve to be treated with the same respect and dignity that any person would expect. Please remember to treat those with LDs with respect and not to talk down to them, or to their parents/carer instead of them as if they are children. ... See MoreSee Less

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Employers - ever wonder what it would be like to hire employees with a learning disability? Think they wouldn't be up to the job? Think again!

This awesome film, courtesy of Shape Arts, documents the experiences of three employers within different companies as they take the chance of hiring learning disabled staff, worried that it will backfire on them - and watch in amazement as these young lads not only meet their expectations, but exceed them dramatically!

Please share this vid as widely as possible this LD Week to show employers everywhere what they stand to gain by tapping into this vast pool of talent.

And remember - disabilities? 'Don't dis our abilities'!
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In honour of Learning Disability Week 2017, we'd like to share this video about the incredible journey of young Portia Johnson as she tirelessly looks for work but repeatedly runs up against the stigma against learning disabilities.

Although she lives more than half a world away, Portia's struggle is highly relevant to more than 1.5 million people in the UK who also have a learning disability and run up against the same stigma that prevents them getting a job. It's a terrible tragedy when young, motivated individuals like Portia can't find work because they have an LD.

Will Portia finally get the job she so dearly wants? Check out the vid to find out!
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Autistic Pride Day: Why I’m proud to be Autistic

Autistic Pride Day: Why I’m proud to be Autistic

Did you know dear reader, June 18th is a very special day for us Autistic people and our families – a special event celebrated around the world, from Brazil, to London to Israel – a day dedicated to celebrating neurodiversity and the unique identity, abilities and...

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Why every university needs a Disability Society

Why every university needs a Disability Society

Why every university needs a Disability Society   Of all the accomplishments that I have to write about on my CV, dear readers, there isn’t a single one I am prouder to talk about than being the founder and first chairman of the Disabled Student’s Society of De...

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Diabetes Awareness

Diabetes Awareness

Of all health conditions on record in the UK that have a claim to be one of the most common and under-supported, Diabetes has one of the strongest. According to Diabetes UK, Diabetes is ‘the fastest growing health threat facing our nation’, with over 3 million people...

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The DSA Freshers’ Survival Guide

The DSA Freshers’ Survival Guide

Hi again, readers. The blog is back, and since we’re so close to the new academic year, I thought I’d offer some advice to our brand new starters, for whom these next couple of weeks will rocket by. In particular, I thought I’d offer some advice to our disabled...

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Results Day – what next?

Results Day – what next?

So once again, A-level results day has come and gone. Some of you are at this moment rejoicing the success of your studies and are looking ahead starry-eyed towards the university and course of your dreams. Others have not been so fortunate, and are at this moment...

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Introductions: A bit about myself

Introductions: A bit about myself

My name is Tom, Student Consultant with Access2Learn, and on behalf of our company, welcome to the first instalment of our blog and thank you very much in advance for taking the time to read it. So why write a blog? Glad you asked … although, technically you didn’t,...

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