Focus on education: NIISQ participant Miguel commences life at University.

Miguel is a 19 year old NIISQ participant who experienced a traumatic brain injury as a result of a motor vehicle accident in December 2016. 2018 has been a big year for Miguel who has continued with his pre-injury educational plans and commenced university life alongside his group of friends.

Through NIISQ, Miguel has been provided with support planning to maximise his recovery and rehabilitation, including but not limited to, intensive physiotherapy which assisted him to increase his strength and endurance and a specialised gym program designed and monitored by a physiotherapist which was facilitated by an exercise physiologist. Miguel accessed this on a weekly basis for a three month period.

“Indirectly, the physio has helped me develop my strength and helped me manage my fatigue meaning I feel more able to return to education. The verbal support and encouragement I have received from my family, and NIISQ alike, was also great,” said Miguel.

NIISQ also assisted Miguel with a return to driving program, and he is now able to commute to and from University. This has also helped by allowing Miguel to be independent in the community, which is something that most people value greatly.

NIISQ’s Support Planner-Community, Lisa, assisted by informing Miguel about the disability liaison officer at Griffith University, and suggesting that he link with them prior to commencing his studies. This service is able to provide additional support and guidance to Miguel around university study and life.

Miguel said, “University is hard, really hard, but I know it will be worth it. It’s worth remembering that your future self will thank you.”

Along with all tertiary education providers nationwide, Griffith University provides dedicated disability support to students and seeks to remove barriers that students with disabilities or health conditions may face in participating fully in education. Support is provided to all students with a disability, injury or health condition across a whole range of conditions from mental health, learning difficulties and physical impairments including serious personal injury and traumatic brain injuries.

Griffith’s campus-based Disabilities Service Officers discuss the impact of disability, injury or health condition with the student and customise reasonable adjustments so students can participate in all learning activities including assessment items, work-integrated learning and other activities.

Gabrielle O’Brien, Manager, Student Diversity and Inclusion said of Griffith’s Disabilities Service, “Each person is different. A student with a traumatic brain injury might have alternative exam conditions such as additional time or specialised equipment; formatted materials in audio formats; access to assistive technologies; and or participation assistants.

“Griffith also provides referral to other internal partners if students need support such as health and counselling services, welfare and financial assistance, peer mentoring and academic skills support. Students with disabilities are already amazingly resilient but there is no shame in asking for help.

“It’s about ensuring students receive the support they need to thrive and succeed. Disability or injury shouldn’t hold anyone back from achieving their goals,” said Ms O’Brien.

NIISQ wish Miguel all the best with his academic undertakings.


June 2018