What is it like to be a SMF-ambassador?

As SMF-ambassador I hope that students do not have to reinvent the wheel.


Read her experiences as SMF ambassador here!

Since academic year 2019-2020, Team SMF (Studying with a Functional Impairment) works with students as SMF ambassadors. They help Team SMF in various ways to improve their services.
Please meet SMF ambassador Tanja.

My name is Tanja, I study at Erasmus School of Social and Behavioral Sciences. I am following two masters here and I really like them.         

I have a hearing impairment. Without my hearing aids, I am pratctically deaf. This sometimes makes it difficult to attend lectures and participate in tutorials. I still struggle with the fact that people have to speak up or repeat themselves for me.

I thought it was time to share some of the experiences I encountered as a student with a functional impairment. As SMF ambassador, I want to make it easier for other students by not letting them reinvent the wheel. Also, I like to think of solutions and I am happy to show students with a functional impairment what the options are for education to adapt to them (instead of the other way around). For me, this has been the use of a writing interpreter, for example.

As SMF ambassador you have three flexible main tasks that you can sign up for:

  • Working as a peer coach where you coach another student with a functional impairment.
  • Be present at events (such as the Open Day) to share your experiences and inform prospective students and their parents.
  • Participate in focus groups and policy panels in which you contribute to plans to improve services for students with a functional impairment.

You can decide for yourself which tasks you do or do not want to take on.

I have been working as a peer coach for a while now. What I like most about this is finding a way to solve specificissues together. My goal is to make studying as pleasant as possible for the student and to provide options to make this happen. During our weekly appointments we discuss how things are going and what I can help with. The student I coach has autism and likes to learn how to get the essentials from a text. Together we started making mind maps. Once we have made a start together, the student then completes it himself.

Are you a student with a functional impairment who could use help or who wants to contribute as SMF ambassador, do not hesitate and contact Team SMF!


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