Locked out of the Virtual College

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I’m pretty well-balanced about having a disability nowadays. You have to either wallow or swallow and I chose to swallow it and move on.

However every once in a while something happens which brings all the hurt, all the sense of injustice and all the insincerity towards the disabled right back in front of my nose.

This week the famous Berklee School of Music in Boston proudly launches its new online scholarship programme in the UK. Patrons including Sir George Martin are prominently featured.

A few months ago I was approached by Berklee to become one of the 5 UK Patrons for scholarships for these new courses. I was quite touched and positively disposed to the idea. After sleeping on it, I got back to their UK rep Steve Mayall and said I would be happy to act as patron and that I would like my scholarship to offer a particular opportunity to a disabled or blind candidate.

Steve said he would get back to me. A week later I got a three line email from Steve saying that the Berklee website was not suitable for blind and disabled students so the answer was ‘no’. I was pretty cross at this and I telephoned Berklee in Boston and asked to speak to the Director, a Mr Brown who, according to their website, is one of the world’s most philanthropic and egalitarian humans. The polite girl in his office took all the details of my dissatisfaction and all my contacts and said I would be contacted.

I never heard another word . . . and the offer to me to act as a patron evaporated.

So don’t believe everything people tell you about how great they are.