Ollie Sweeney

Ollie Sweeney

Assistive Technology Trainer

I’m from Essex, and I have been supporting students with specific learning difference within very varied roles since 2010. I completed a B.A. degree in Ancient History at the University of Reading and later went on to study an M.A. in the same field at the University of Bristol. It was during my postgraduate study that I discovered I had dyspraxia (DCD). Receiving this information was a very illuminating experience as it helped to explain some of the unique learning, as well as general life, characteristics that I had observed in myself in contrast to my peers.

Discovering these unique traits were in fact shared by a large subset of the population sparked a strong desire to pursue a career in supporting learning difference. I am very passionate about helping students to recognise that many of their unique characteristics, which stem from their learning difference, can often be their core strengths. For example, I’ve noticed dyslexic students can often be skilled at lateral thinking and looking at situations and ideas from perspectives that are not readily available to others. Learning to exploit unique traits like these can lead to great success and help students realise a new type of inner self-confidence that integrates their learning difference rather than rejecting it. Having seen the very positive impact that the appropriate assistive technology can make in supporting learning difference, I am also always eager to incorporate this in the learning strategies that I develop with my students to overcome the barriers they come up against on their courses.

Outside of work, I have an eclectic taste in music and love attending live events. I’m also deeply interested in different cultures; this is what inspired my previous studies in Ancient History. I am passionate about travel and am very fortunate to have taught in Thailand early on in my career. Some of my other interests include comedy, biology and gardening.