Welcome to the Diverse-Abilities Blog! The Diverse-Abilities Blog shares the lived experiences of fellow graduates and students identifying with a disability and marks the start of ongoing conversations about having a disability within today’s society, in particular, within the legal community. Disability is inclusive of those that are physical and invisible to the eye. From physical impairments to psychological and neurotic tendencies, disability stands on a wide spectrum and is often 80% of the time unidentifiable at first glance. ISSUE 1: APRIL 2023 UTS law student, Sam*, joins us in our first issue of the Diverse-abilities Blog to talk about their experiences identifying with a disability. *The name Sam has been used to anonymise the identity of the interviewee. What motivated you to share your story on the Diverse-Abilities Blog? I’m interested in the representation of UTS Law students with a disability. Do you publicly or openly identify with a disability? Yes. Identifying as a disabled student has helped me access disability support and adjustments with less shame or self-denial.It also helps me feel more connected with the community of amazing disabled leaders and activists. Has the law community treated you differently compared to your peers in any way because of this or your diverse-ability? When I have identified as disabled, people have outright asked me how and why, which can be uncomfortable.In my experience, the issue that the profession has is not with disability per se but that the profession has to make accommodations. ‘It’s easier to say, “we’re okay with disabled people” than “we will do everything we can to provide access to disabled people”. The latter requires actual action.’ How does this make you feel? ‘Before I started identifying as disabled and connecting with organisations like Disabled Australian Lawyers Association (DALA) and Australian Network on Disability (AND), it was really isolating.‘But meeting other disabled law students and lawyers has definitely helped to deal with these feelings of isolation.’ How have you been able to manage, combat, work or challenge these effects on your lived experiences? Having these conversations help to remind me that it’s possible to get through it.What would be your advice to fellow law students with diverse-abilities?Connect with the disability community! I would like to thank Sam* for granting me the privilege of being able to share their voice to start this open conversation about disability and law. I hope that this issue will spur some reflection and understanding in those who read it.For any inquiries and/or feedback, please feel free to contact me at email@example.com. All correspondence will remain confidential unless specified otherwise.