THIS WEEK IN 1989: Students call for less ‘dis’, and more ability

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The Coronation all lit up. A passing trolleybus gives it some scale.

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Two disabled students beat a path to an education opportunity they believed was the right of everyone.

Susan Edgar and Mary Negus joined forces with Horizon Day Centre, and Highbury Technical College to show you did not have to be able-bodied to pass exams.

Thanks to the college’s welcoming attitude, Susan, 32, and Mary, 35, were able to fulfil a lifelong ambition – to sit exams denied to them as children.

Both passed their GCSE O-Level English – their first step on the road to work.

Behind them was Sally Taylor, further education instructor at the Horizon Centre, Cosham.

Sally was spearheading a new campaign to break down the barriers between disabled and able-bodied people.

For Sally, the name of the game was less ‘dis’ and more ability.

She said: ‘Disabled people don’t want special treatment.

‘They want to show the world they are basically the same as everybody else.

‘They don’t want to be segregated in special schools.

‘They want to go to school, college, or university just like everybody else,’ she added.

Sally’s first step was raising £50,000 for better facilities for disabled pupils at Highbury College.