I can do it too!

Posted: May 15, 2012 by dchhoa in Deakin University, Education

“It’s so cool! Teach me your language!” exclaim Phillipa’s classmates.

by Denise Chhoa

Let me introduce you to Phillipa Russell, an arts and drama student at Deakin University. What makes her special or different from everyone else? She was born deaf.

Despite her disability, Phillipa has never felt disadvantaged, or worse off than her peers. Philippa says that she’s made a lot more friends because of her deafness.

In fact, with her ‘entourage’ (two interpreters and a notetaker) for each class she attends, Phillipa says she feels quite special. Of course, Phillipa is not the only student at Deakin that has a disability and needs assistance with their studies, which is where Deakin Disability Resource Centre comes into play.

The resource centre caters to students who have a health condition or disability that affects their study by arranging services required to help a student succeed.

Disability Liason Officer at Deakin University, Elizabeth Williams, says it’s a simple process for students to register with the centre.

Phillipa shares that her disability has given her an advantage over her peers in some classes as she quite literally speaks another language. Her drama lecturer thrives off the beauty of this language and constantly instructs her to express herself and her team’s performances through Auslan (sign language).

In other instances, she says she gets to be a little cheeky with her interpreters. They sometimes sign little inside jokes to each other during lectures and workshops, and this adds a little fun and encouragement to her when she feels like she’s struggling.



To find out more, or to register, please visit Deakin Disability Resource Centre online.

Friendly reception at the Deakin Disability Resource Centre

  1. Karisa McCauley says:

    I really enjoyed this story – I think that is in part due to how likable Phillipa is!
    She’s a great subject for a story.
    Show just how often it is the subject that makes the story.
    Good work

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