I was born physically disabled which means I have various physical impairments including deafness, sclerosis and arthrogryposis. However, I have never let my physical impairments hold me back in life. There is so much more to life than what your body looks like. I have been able to fully participate in many able-bodied sports such as football, swimming and tennis. I even discovered disability sports such as wheelchair basketball and wheelchair racing. Being aware of my physical limitations has allowed me to know how much I can do. With this knowledge, I enjoy pushing myself and discovering my physical capabilities.
Outside of sports, I have been academically successful and am now at university studying a degree in International Politics, which has led me to gain more self-confidence. My plus is my well-rounded personality. I have a deeper appreciation of life because of my disability. I have a supportive and loving family and I am fortunate to have had many wonderful opportunities to travel, have a good education and pursue my interests and hobbies after successful surgery. My experience has helped me to empathise with those less fortunate than me. In fact, I think my deafness has some advantages as sleeping is so easy, I have become a better listener and I am forced to pay more attention to how I communicate which has helped me with speaking. Also, I love learning foreign languages and can speak Spanish, Mandarin and Japanese! – Alex Lever
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