Jack is featured in our ‘Humans of LJMU’ series in collaboration with the ‘Humans of Liverpool’ social media account, sharing the stories of the people who make our city, communities and university the vibrant, inclusive place it is in celebration of our bicentenary year.
He graduated in summer 2022 with a BA (Hons) in Education Studies and Inclusion. As someone living with autism and dyspraxia, his interview focuses on the support he had throughout his studies and all that he has achieved, and no doubt will go on to achieve in the future.
“I don’t see my disability as something negative, I see it as an ability – to help transform lives and be inclusive. I see it as a positive and I think that’s something that it is important for all people with disabilities to do.”
– Jack Fitzpatrick
Jack’s ‘Humans of LJMU’ interview
“I have a diagnosis of autism and dyspraxia, which I've had since the age of three. Growing up, a lot of people said that I wouldn't even be able to take an exam. But I achieved 8 GCSEs, 3 A Levels, and now a first in my degree at LJMU.
“I’m very fortunate to have had the support of family, friends and learning assistance. But I'm aware that not everyone has the right support in place. I want to help everyone feel that they are included, because without those that believed in me, I would not be where I am now.
“I was reading that a staggering 40% of students with disabilities don't know what disability student allowance is. This is where you declare your disabilities when applying for student finance and you can access wrap-around support. LJMU has helped me to get that, from note takers in the classroom to a taxi service to get me to and from the university. Travelling on my own is something that causes anxiety for myself, so they have eliminated all these stresses and provided an inclusive environment for me to succeed and feel comfortable in.
“All of the lecturers have been fantastic with me, and I've been offered endless opportunities that I wouldn't usually have access to. Whilst searching for a dissertation partner I came across aggregate industries, who have been a fantastic support. I have worked on changing their company culture to become more inclusive. My biggest achievement has been integrating the sunflower lanyard for hidden and unseen disabilities for the organisation which has been rolled out across all of their sites allowing for the facilitation of discussions on disabilities. This work formed the topic of my dissertation which I received a first for.
“As a result of this work, I was approached to do a PhD by my student advisor. It's a real honour, because he's only put 3 people forward for this in his 35-year career. I don't see my disability as something negative, I see it as an ability – to help transform lives and be inclusive. I see it as a positive and I think that's something that it is important for all people with disabilities to do.”