A University of Wolverhampton student has featured in a national TV and poster campaign which highlights focus on ability not disability.
Irwin Mitchell, the 11th largest law firm in the UK which offers a range of legal services to national and international clients, is showcasing the stories of five of their personal injury and medical negligence clients who are bouncing back after serious injuries.
Ainsley Sinckler-Campbell, 23 from Wolverhampton, is studying for a degree in Interior Architecture and Property Development in the School of Architecture and Built Environment at the City Campus in Wolverhampton.
He suffered a spinal injury in a road traffic accident at the age of 21 and the firm’s serious injury lawyers are helping Ainsley to regain independence and access support, rehabilitation and adaptive equipment.
Since suffering his injury Ainsley, a paraplegic who uses a manual wheelchair full-time, has re-enrolled part-time on his degree course. During his rehabilitation he took part in the Inter Spinal Unit Games where he won the archery competition and took part in swimming and athletics. He now competes in adaptive rowing events.
Ainsley said: “I don’t want my disability to define who I am. Independence is really important to me, and, after being bed-bound for such a long time, I wanted to get my life back on track.
“I really enjoyed the degree course in my first semester and I felt like it was giving me what I needed in terms of the skills I would need to pursue a career in property development which was what I was always interested in.
“The University really supported me in terms of assessing my personal needs now that I’m using a wheelchair – looking at everything from what kinds of desk I can sit at, accessibility to buildings, providing computer assisted design packages and offering me extra time to complete assignments.”
Ainsley has committed to studying two days a week for the next four years to complete his degree and is determined to use the knowledge and skills he’s learning to start his own business.
“When I was looking for accommodation after my accident I realised that houses just aren’t accessible for people with disabilities,” he said. “And that got me thinking about what I could do in the future, using the skills I’ve learned on my degree.
“I’d really like to give something back and make a difference. I think that adapting properties for disabled people – providing something affordable that meets the needs of people like me, would be a great business venture in the future.”
He said: “My accident has made me think about all the things I haven’t done, and it’s also made me realise that you don’t know what’s around the corner. My disability has taken a lot from me, but it’s given me so much more in return.”
Check out Ainsley’s story here.
Irwin Mitchell’s I Am Able campaign is running throughout 2019 and aims to put the spotlight on ability rather than disability and raise awareness of the progress that real individuals have been able to make with the right support.