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Part of a special feature celebrating the success of Memorial's graduates. This feature coincides with spring convocation 2017.

By Sandy Woolfrey-Fahey

Brandon Snow, who is legally blind, did not let his genetic condition get in the way of completing his degree.

His success is being celebrated this week; he crossed the stage to pick up his bachelor of kinesiology degree on June 1.

‘Phenomenal experience’

Before graduation, though, he made sure his alma mater, Memorial’s School of Human Kinetics (HKR), was recognized for helping him along the way.

“I had a really phenomenal experience in HKR. Every professor I had was willing to help me succeed in this academic program,” said Mr. Snow. “I did co-op terms too, and my co-op co-ordinators also went above and beyond to accommodate my disability.”

“You can come to university with a disability and you can succeed.” — Brandon Snow

Mr. Snow nominated HKR for the 2016 Glenn Roy Blundon Award, which recognizes excellence in disability accommodation. The nomination was based on his positive experiences in the school with accommodations and accessibility. HKR received the award in April 2016.

Supports available

When he arrived at Memorial from his hometown of Lewisporte, NL.., he says it was overwhelming at first, but he was able to find the supports he needed. He acknowledges that everyone has challenges at university; he has some advice for all students in the following video.

Vocal and dedicated

Mr. Snow has been very involved with Memorial’s Glenn Roy Blundon Centre for Students with Disabilities and is a vocal and dedicated advocate. 

“I’ve been involved with the Blundon Centre doing student panels to advocate that you can come to university with a disability and you can succeed,” said Mr. Snow. “I was also on the subcommittee for students with disabilities at the library to ensure that everything possible was there to help them succeed.”

The Blundon Centre serves prospective and current students with disabilities on the St. John’s campus. The centre assists students by facilitating access to information, services and campus facilities in collaboration with faculty, staff, and students at Memorial and in the wider community. Services have evolved over the years from test and exam accommodations to sign language interpretation, assistive technologies and accommodations at orientation and convocation, to name just a few.

Based on experience

“Brandon has made a significant contribution to student life at Memorial through his volunteer activities and work on behalf of students with disabilities,” said Ruth North, manager of the Blundon Centre. “He has helped the Blundon Centre ease the transition for new students coming to the university by providing advice based on his own experiences. Through his advocacy work, his dedication to his academics and his desire to improve the lives of others, Brandon has developed into a strong role model for other young people. We wish Brandon every success in the future.”

Mr. Snow is dedicated to making a difference. He is also part of the CNIB’s National Youth Council, an organization which provides a voice for youth who are blind, deafblind or partially sighted the opportunity to influence change and increase awareness of issues facing Canadian youth living with vision loss.

Hear more from Mr. Snow here.

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