I was alarmed to receive this letter from my son’s prospective university the other day:-

Dear xxxx

We are contacting you because you have a applied for a place at xxxx and have indicated on your application that you are disabled.


I didn’t say he was disabled did I? He has a slight dyslexia diagnosis. That hardly means he is disabled.

I was already in trouble for suggesting that he would like to be called “Lucy” as his nickname when I accidentally allowed the auto-filly-in-thingy to add my name to “do you have a nickname you would like to be referred as?”

So I was envisaging a girl’s name stuck on the front of his disabled room, which would frankly not be a good start for him.

Turns out that the term “disabled” can include not only long-term physical and mental health conditions, but also specific learning difficulties, such as dyslexia.

Well, it’s time they changed that. “Disabled” should not be the umbrella term for any shift from normality and frankly universities, who are already struggling to support students with depression and anxiety should know better. Surely anyone labelled “disabled” is going to object? Each and every student should be entitled to their own personal diagnosis and be treated as individuals, no matter how much easier it is to refer them all to the same Disability Service.

Or is there a logic behind it that I haven’t understood?


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