Navigation

News and events

Disability no barrier for BBC bound graduate

18 December 2015

New international journalism graduate has landed a place in BBC’s Talent Pool  

Pic: New BA (Hons) International Journalism graduate Mohammed Salim Patel who has been given a place in the BBC’s Journalism Talent Pool.  

A new graduate from the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) has overcome his disability to land a prestigious position with the BBC.

Mohammed Salim Patel suffers from a degenerative eye condition called Retinitis Pigmentosa but despite this the international journalism graduate has been successful in gaining a place in the BBC’s Journalism Talent Pool.

The 21-year-old, from Blackburn, said: “This is a great step into the door of the BBC which I intend to fully utilise in order to impress the managers and producers there and hopefully secure a job working for the BBC. I feel I have proved to myself that I am capable of succeeding and achieving big things. I want to build on this momentum and become a role model and inspiration for other disabled people out there who may be lacking in confidence. If I can do it anyone can.”

 

"With being blind I wanted to show other blind people that anything is possible and hopefully with me graduating I can inspire someone to try and succeed."

Mohammed, who received his first-class honours degree last week in Preston’s Guild Hall, said: “I’ve always believed that hard work pays off and for me the grade that I obtained is proof of that. With being blind I wanted to show other blind people that anything is possible and hopefully with me graduating I can inspire someone to try and succeed. I coined a motto of ‘I may be blind but I have a vision’ and I feel I have proved that vision by gaining a degree.”

The former Blackburn College student added: “Due to the nature of my disability there were some tasks I couldn’t do like designing a magazine cover or laying out a story in a newspaper but I used my initiative and produced podcasts or audio packages to go alongside printed material. In general I always had to give myself a head start to other students because it would take me longer to produce certain pieces of work but this actually gave me an advantage because I could get feedback and redraft my work so that my final submission was the best it could be. In many ways my disability was an advantage as opposed to a disadvantage whilst on the course.”

 

"A constant highlight of the course was the various industry professionals that would come into give us lectures and also the many work experience opportunities at the BBC and ITV.”

He added: “I enjoyed the freedom I had to pursue fields which interested me, for example broadcast journalism modules and local politics. A constant highlight of the course was the various industry professionals that would come into give us lectures and also the many work experience opportunities at the BBC and ITV.”

Mohammed, who blogged as ‘TheBlindJournalist’ throughout his course, was also recognised for his journalistic talents while he was a student in Preston. He was named the Excellence in Journalism award winner at the first Great Northern Creative Festival.

He was one of 1,400 undergraduate, postgraduate and doctorate students who collected their awards during the four winter ceremonies.