We got to know Amy, Service Delivery Director at AbilityNet. Amy is an external attendee to our Forums and is particularly engaged with our Disability Forum.
Describe your institution in 3 words.
It would be my organisation/charity rather than institution – I would go with Inclusive, Innovative and Inspiring.
I do what I do because…
I am passionate about ensuring that everyone has the opportunity to achieve their goals and dreams regardless of background or impairment. I feel really privileged to be able to work with my wonderful colleagues and a wide range of fantastic organisations and Educational institutions to achieve this (including AccessHE!).
What song would be the soundtrack to your life and why?
Bit of a cheesy pick but I would go with ‘Walking on Sunshine’ because despite having experienced my share of ups and downs in life, generally I feel that I have a great deal to smile about. I try to look on life as an adventure and hunt down the bright side of adversity when it pops up to surprise me.
At work I’m always learning that…
People are so inventive in the way that they overcome challenges. Technology is a huge enabler in this and I am constantly amazed by what is being developed. AbilityNet run an annual awards called Tech4Good and some of the nominees and winners are truly awesome. See here for last year’s winners. From our side at AbilityNet we are working on a few innovation projects at the moment – My Study My Way – a student inclusion platform to help students think about the barriers they might face at University and access an action plan with self help advice and signposting to ensure they have all the support they need. We also have a project underway looking at using artificial intelligence (AI) as a tool to provide guidance on tech adjustments… hopefully more on this soon!
If you could invite our people – alive or deceased – to dinner, who would you choose?
- George Orwell – such an amazing mind and interesting life full of bravery and humility, he is my hero. I would love to get his view on the politics of today!
- Kathy Burke – I think she is one of the funniest people ever. Again super intelligent with an amazing heart.
- Helen Keller – such a determined person. I only read recently about the extent of her political and activist work. She was a tireless campaigner for rights for disabled people but also a suffragette, pacifist and campaigner for birth control. Bet she was a real character too.
- My paternal grandmother Joyce, because I miss her happy face, her wisdom and her wicked sense of humour. She was quite unwell in life having had cancer at a young age which she survived against all doctor’s expectations. She always walked with a stick from when I knew her but never complained. I remember when we were all playing on the beach as kids she would sit smiling in a deckchair handing out sandwiches. The last time I saw her was around a week before she died. I didn’t really know what to say as she was very weak and she just looked at me and said “I feel so surrounded by love, aren’t I lucky”. That attitude just totally sums her up.
If you’d like to feature in our next “Five Minutes With…”, please e-mail Tanyel.