Tom Kirby, Oxbridge Home Learning

OXBRIDGE STUDENT PAVING THE WAY FOR ACCESSIBILITY IN EDUCATION

At a time where the education sector is being challenged on providing diverse accessibility options, student Tom Kirby ischampioning distance learning provider Oxbridge for its bespoke learning opportunities. Diagnosed with dyslexia and dyscalculia, Tom has found education to be an uphill battle. However, since enrolling on Oxbridge’s Nutrition Consultant course in 2019, he’s gone from strength to strength. 

From having a near death experience, which resulted in three surgeries, to beating bullying and winning hockeytournaments, Tom’s overcome numerous obstacles. Now, he’s gone from adversity to advocacy, promoting the adaptability of Oxbridge’s courses and encouraging the rest of the education industry to follow suit. 

Tom enrolled earlier this year after struggling to find employment due to his complex needs. Despite being out of education for years, Oxbridge has been a place for Tom to thrive, promoting self-development and accessibilitywithin education.

Matt Jones, Director of Oxbridge, comments: 

“At Oxbridge, our team isalways striving to ensure our content and course materials best fit our students’needs. Whether that be unlimited tutor support or financial assistance, we strive to help students like Tom to overcome any technical barriers by strippingaway the limits to learning. As a result, we’re empowering a community of learners no matter what their circumstances are.” 

Without the constraints of a traditional bricks and mortar classroom, Oxbridge has been afforded the agility to create accessible and flexible options that are tailored to each of their students’ needs. It is this very personalisation of Oxbridge’s courses that has been a game changer for Tom and students likehim. From the simplest of modifications, such as printing Tom’s work on blue backgrounds through to adapting the size and type of font, this personalisation has vastly boosted Tom’s receptibilityand focus, as well as his accuracy, read and response times.

To enhance its bespoke offering, Oxbridge provides learners Unlimited Tutor Support, whereby tutors discover a learner’s needs before tailoring course content. By learning more about Tom and reflecting on his learning style enables tutors to form achievable goals, interactive scenarios and YouTubeinspired videos to aid his progression. As a result, Oxbridge has built an accessible content network that is easy to digest, leading to better success for Tom and students with similar learning conditions. 

Not only this but Oxbridge makes it easier for people like Tom with interest-free payment schemes. This has enabled Tom to study towards his personal goals without worrying about massive cash paymentsburning holes in his pockets or coming out of his PIP allowance. 

The distance learning provider also strives to support the outlets that enable their students to thrive. Oxbridge are a key sponsor of the Harborne hockey team, the Flyerz, of which Tom is a player. Throughbacking networks like this, Oxbridge are able to extend their support to people with learning disabilitiesthrough external organisations offering advice and encouragement. In return, this grants students like Tom more independence and a winning sense of self.

Talking about his studying at Oxbridge, Tom comments: 

“Thanks to Oxbridge, Mencap and the Harborne Flyerz, my confidence has grown greatly. Now I want to use that strength to help those overlooked and vulnerable. I think it’s time to be a voice for a subject that needs more attention; the struggles of disability and how ignoring it only leads to isolation and poor mental health.”

Tom is now using his experiences to challenge the dangerous stigma and prejudices associated with dyslexia and dyscalculia, as well as other learning and mental health difficulties.If you’d like more information about Oxbridge and the services on offer, please visit https://oxbridgehomelearning.uk

Tara Tomes