Chloe is one of over 200 students who attend Portland College – an FE college that was established with the sole purpose of supporting people with special educational needs and disabilities, from ages 16-25.
We chatted to Chloe about her love for Strictly Come Dancing, performing arts, and getting involved in This Girl Can.
Hi Chloe! Tell us a bit about yourself – what are you studying at Portland College?
I’m one of the returners from the last academic year and I’m currently studying Performing Arts. We’re working on Digital Music at the moment. I really enjoy coming to Portland College because it just really helps you be who you want to be.
And what are your interests outside of college?
I’ve always been interested in Performing Arts. I really love Strictly and will watch anything that has Kai Widdrington in it. He's a massive inspiration because I dance as well.
Recently I got an award for This Girl Can, which I’ve been involved with for two years now. We plan things to try and get more girls into sports. I also follow the Olympics and love watching the gymnastics.
Can you tell us a bit about your disability?
I have autism and MCAP syndrome. I can’t remember exactly when I was diagnosed – it was just part of who I was when I was born.
How do you think your disabilities impact your daily life?
My walking and my balance are affected most. I can find it hard to do everyday tasks because if I stand for too long, I get really bad calf pains. It doesn’t affect me in the classroom though.
Why do you think it’s important for people to know more about your disability?
I think it’s important for people to know that I find it hard to walk. It would be nice for people to realise that and be more understanding that I can’t go as quickly as everyone else.
How do you find being a Portland College?
It’s helped me so much. I never thought I’d be achieving the things I have here, but the staff are so supportive. Colin especially has helped me massively this year with my singing.
What are your hopes and plans for the future?
I want to take my singing to the next level. I love singing and singers like Dua Lipa and Beyonce.
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