Former student Sue Carroll was a role model who inspired change within Bradford College. Her strength opened the door to education for many other disabled students.
Nicola Storey, Teaching & Learning Coordinator for Deaf & Hearing Students at Bradford
College prepared this tribute to a remarkable and unforgettable student:
“Sue Carroll studied at Bradford and Ilkley Community College in the early 80’s. She re-entered mainstream education through O and A level courses at the Ilkley campus, continuing onto the Certificate for Mature Students and the Diploma in Higher Education.
Sue was diagnosed with Friedrich’s Ataxia, a disease of the central nervous system, which causes progressive deterioration of coordination and muscle control. Over a period of 20 years this gradually made her chances of independent living more challenging and Sue sadly passed away whilst only in her 30’s.
Sue was a student long before legislation such as the Disability Discrimination Act
came into force and she determinedly fought against prejudice and discrimination.
She campaigned for the right of access to further and higher education for everyone,
regardless of disability. She won the respect and affection of staff and students in her
struggle to achieve academic qualifications and to make the College’s equal opportunities
policy a reality.
Sue was influential in establishing equality of access for disabled students at a time when there was no legal obligation. After her death the College renovated 2 houses on Easby Road, which were fully accessible providing space for specialist tutorials, counselling, small group work, as well as providing valuable information resources for disabled students. This was named the Sue Carroll Centre, reflecting the respect the College held for the work Sue accomplished.
In 1994 the Sue Carroll Centre moved to the Westbrook building and it is now located on B Floor. The Centre provides specialist staff, computer equipment, information resources, tutorial facilities and guidance to students with learning difficulties and/or disabilities and provides a central and key role within the College.”
Louise Hart, former Head of Learning Support at Bradford College, recalls: “Sue was a pioneer and an inspiration to many other at a time when disability access was minimal. Despite facing considerable adversity her determination to learn and develop was not diminished”