Have you ever wondered where my twitter name comes from? To some it could just read as a jumbled load of letters, though there are a few people who know where it actually comes from. I thought I’d give you a quick understanding to the name – @EhOhSaysYes
Not that many years ago I was part of the Students’ Union at my local college, my role was Equal Opportunities Officer for the Executive Committee. One day the President walked up to me and simply said “Hello Eh Oh… Ooooh Eh Oh, I like that name.” So it stuck, I was greeted by others on the union as Eh Oh, I kind of lost the name Tracey while I was on the Union and was soon to be known as Eh Oh for the foreseeable. So that’s the first part, Eh Oh stands for Equal Opportunities.
The college would hold events for learners, by learners and they were all encouraged to take part in the learner experience. They were not just at college to learn the subject(s) of their course, but also to become involved in extra events like campaigning, fundraising and charity awareness in the area. Sometimes it was hard for some people to see how someone with a disability (for instance) to take part in a certain activity. All they could see was the problems that were faced by getting them involved.
For example we had a very active group of Foundation Learners who primarily had different forms of learning disability. Some of them needed to have a chaperone with them all the time, while some needed encouragement to bring out the strong personalities. All these Foundation Learners needed was a little extra support to be able to join in with events or activities we had planned.
It was my job to put in place the support, care and attention that was needed for them to enrich their lives by taking part. I would educate the planners of the events of extra measures that were needed, in some cases working with the college’s disability support team to see how they can help or it would involve listening direct to the learner about stumbling blocks they may face. Working with the other Executive Officers we could make sure that every learner had their voice and was able to share it with other learners in the college. To show what they are actually made of and build confidence in sharing their unique abilities.
In a way it kind of became a long standing thing that I would never say no to any learner being a part of the learner experience. I would always says yes, with options and suggestions on how to support other learners find their feet and join us with any activity or event that may take place. So that’s the second half of my twitter name – Says Yes, because I always said yes for Equal Opportunities.
So, there you go. Something that became part of my learning experience at college was to say yes to people who may have otherwise been disadvantaged to take part with their own learner experiences. I don’t want to blow my own trumpet here, but the work that I done while being the Equal Opportunities Officer won me a Principals Award from the college. I think that shows in itself the impact that I made at the college, I gave everyone a chance.
My experience from this has given me the view that anyone can take part in any event or activity. It doesn’t take much to put in place extra support to allow them to do this. This one small step can enrich someone else’s life so much, more than you could imagine yourself. By talking with a person who may need this extra support will help them achieve the things they want, but it will also teach you loads about something you may not have even realised. Please give people the chance and opportunity to do something they desire, their world my rely on your kindness at that moment in their lives.