Double challenge for visually-impaired students

June will be a busy month for students Hassan and Luke who are taking part in a coast-to-coast cycle ride and then, a week later, climbing Wales’s highest peak, Snowdon.

Hassan has Alström Syndrome, a genetic disorder which causes progressive eye disease, hearing loss, insulin resistance and obesity. Luke has been blind from birth and both students have some learning disabilities.

 Both challenges have been organised by Adam Tasker at the University of Bradford’s Union of Students’ Choices 4 All project which works with disabled students in higher education. Both students have been training hard under his guidance, with regular spin classes and a recent 40-mile bike ride. Hassan has won the nickname “Hammer Down Hassan” for his complete commitment to the training and this will be his second coast-to-coast ride.

The pair have also been hiking with the help of student enablers as part of the Take a Hike project, with Luke achieving the challenging summit of Pen-y-ghent recently. Adam said: “The hiking is more of a challenge because of their visual impairments and they have to work hard to mitigate the risks of difficult terrain, such as crags and cliffs. Hassan has even crossed a river using stepping stones with the guidance of his enabler.”

The coast-to-coast ride will be tackled by a group of 25, following a route from Morecambe through Sedbergh, Middleham and Appleton Wiske to Redcar. Hassan and Luke will be on tandems with sighted enablers, while other participants will used adapted cycles to make the 132-mile trip.

The pair already have one triumph under their belts, having won the Inspiring Achievement Award at the University of Bradford Union Student Leader Awards earlier this year.

Henshaws Specialist College’s Bradford Centre caters for young adults aged from 16 to 25 with a wide range of disabilities, helping them to achieve their full potential for living independently and preparing them for employment through both educational progression and a recognised College curriculum.

Find out more about Henshaws Specialist College educational offer at our Bradford Centre and our campus in Harrogate.

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