On a similar note, avoid highlighting the ways in which a student has “solved”, “fixed” or “overcome” their disability. Whilst this might be tempting, it eats into the wordcount you could be spending on the student’s skills, strengths, and interests. It’s often also considered “ableist” language - meaning that it constantly measures students against their non-disabled peers.
It could also lead to a case of implicit bias, where it sounds as though your student is somehow less capable than other potential applicants.
Unless mentioning their disability genuinely adds context and insight to an example you 're planning to use regardless in order to write about one of the above categories, it’s unlikely to be pertinent.
In other words, keep the emphasis on the student, their achievement, and their skills… just like you would with any other student!
Watch your words
The third and final tip is to be mindful of the words you use when writing about a student’s disability.
For instance, not everyone likes, or even identifies, with the label “disabled”. A student with dyslexia, for example, might be comfortable with the term “learning disability”, since it highlights the additional difficulties they may have dealt with at school. Another student with dyslexia, on the other hand, might prefer the term “neurodiversity” - a word that strives to recognise both the advantages and challenges of thinking differently.
Michelle Cooke, drawing from her own experience as a part-deaf professor, recommends you pay attention to the words your student uses to describe themselves - or ask them.
It might feel awkward, but you’re going to need to talk to your student anyway to obtain their consent, so it’s the perfect time!