Succeeding as a student with disabilities


An inspiring story on the BYU campus sheds light on the unique experiences and perspectives of students with disabilities.

One student in particular shared his journey and outlook on life. Wills Cole is a remarkable student who is a shining example of resilience.

Cole has used a wheelchair for six years now, due to a gradual spinal cord injury in 2018. He is able to live independently despite his physical challenges. Cole approaches life with a positive attitude and is grateful for what his trials have taught him.

“My happiness and joy in life hasn’t necessarily depended on the external circumstances, and I’ve actually found a lot of joy in how I live my life now,” Cole said. “Even though you got these challenges in life and everyone has their different things, life can still be really good if you choose to just persevere and have that right perspective.”

A panel discussion on March 12 gave BYU students and staff a chance to dive into these perspectives.

Dallin Gardner is one of the event organizers and was also on the panel. He said he hopes it will provide an opportunity for students and professors to better understand and support their peers with disabilities.

“It’s a very awkward thing for people to ask questions about other people’s disabilities, and so we wanted to provide an environment that can be a safe environment to ask these kinds of questions,” Gardner said.

The panel had five students who shared their own stories. The panel took place in the Tanner Building.

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