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What I Wish People Knew About Living with a Disability

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at U Mass Amherst chapter.

I am a member of the 10% of the global population that is living with a learning disability (source: CDC). Additionally, I am one of the approximately 1.6 million people who is living with Type 1 diabetes in the United States (source: JDRF). Having a disability and living with diabetes is part of my identity. My disability is both visible and invisible, which makes life challenging at times. However, there is more to my overall identity beyond being a disabled immunocompromised person. I love cats, dogs, Taylor Swift, Grey’s Anatomy, photography, and spending time with my family and friends. Additionally, I am a feminist, I support LGBTQIA+ and Black Lives Matter movements, and I am a disability advocate. There is more to me than my disability!

While at times I don’t like my disability and compromised health being a part of my identity, as I have grown older, I have learned to accept and be proud of my situation in certain ways. Having a disability and compromised health most definitely forced me to grow up faster than many individuals my age. This seems to have both pros and cons. 

Maybe this is not true for every disabled person, but I feel like a good quote to describe an individual living with a disability is “Don’t judge a book by its cover.” While I might look odd on the outside, on the inside I am a kind and compassionate soul (despite my broken pancreas and compromised brain of course). 

I am writing about this topic because I want people at UMass to hear directly from the perspective of a student with disabilities. I know that there has been a lot of talk recently about how UMass handles certain situations regarding disability rights, and what I have to say is that I believe that college students are full-fledged adults, and despite our disabilities, we deserve to be treated the same as other students. I also believe that non-disabled UMass students should remember to be kind to disabled students. I would like to believe that college students are mature and therefore wouldn’t treat others badly, but this still needs to be reiterated as unfortunately some people might forget this despite the fact that UMass has, as a whole, a very diverse student body. I hope that everyone reading this enjoys hearing the perspective of a young woman with disabilities. And if you have a disability and are reading this, I want you to remember that there is more to your identity than your disability!

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Julia Duprey

U Mass Amherst '23

Hi! My name is Julia Nicholas Duprey! I am originally from Leyden, MA, a small town on the MA-VT border. I am currently a Journalism major and I am a community college transfer student. I am interested in many different things such as women's, political, and disability advocacy, fashion, makeup, spending time with my animals (I love both cats and dogs!), and my family. I also love watching television and movies and reading. I aspire to be a personality on radio and or television. I am also the president of The College Diabetes Network UMass Amherst Chapter! My socials are: https://www.instagram.com/julianicholasduprey/ https://www.instagram.com/jndphotostudio/ https://vsco.co/julianicholasduprey/gallery