Continuing Education

Jane Campbell: Wanting Status

Jane was born in 1959 in Surrey and attended a local special school from age six to age sixteen. She then went on to a residential special college in Coventry, going on from there to University.

Here Jane describes her motivations for going to University.

  • Jane Campbell
  • Jane Campbell
  • Jane Campbell


I still had this hankering for academic recognition. I thought that people who were lecturers, academics, researchers, teachers, you know, somehow they were up there with God. And that came from two places, I think. One, it came from my intellectual curiosity and feeling that I’d lost, you know, sixteen years so I had a lot to catch up on. It came from wanting status and having very little status as a woman and as a severely disabled woman. And I’m afraid it came from wanting power. I’ve always wanted to have enough power to change things, not to kind of become an arch criminal or to become prime minister, but I was very aware from a young, young age that power and authority and money gave you access to the rooms that we were never invited into. All I had was my £30 a week disability living allowance, 30 quid a week, and I used that to pay the cleaner at the halls of residence to get me up in the morning and put me to bed at night. Well, that was the norm in those days. No such thing as direct payments. No such thing as homecare. And anyway, it was quite a novelty, having a disabled person at the university, ‘cause, you know, we didn’t go to university, we died or went to day centres.

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