Teaching graduate supports students with disabilities

Greg Barnes and Jareth Anstey

A teaching graduate who trains university students with disabilities how to use software to help with their degree, has received support from Leeds Trinity University.

29-year-old Jareth Anstey is a freelance Assistive Technology Trainer who delivers face-to-face and online training to students at the University of York and York St John. He teaches students to use software including text-to-speak, dictation, spelling and mind-mapping, among others.

“I worked at Vodafone in my early 20s and loved showing people how they could benefit from technology”, said Jareth. “I started freelance training and completed a Master’s and PGCE whilst working, but when I graduated from Leeds Trinity, I focused more on my business which expanded quicker than I expected.”

Jareth, who lives in York, works with 40 to 50 students at any one time, offering weekly or one-off sessions which usually last for two hours. In the last four years, he’s delivered training to more than 100 students with disabilities.

Jareth added: “Assistive technology can have an enormous impact on a disabled student’s life and can mean the difference between a pass or fail at university. I’ve worked with a Paralympic swimming medallist who was unable to type so taught them how to use speech software, and a student with dyslexia who struggled with proofreading, so taught them how to use text-to-speech software. Without my support, they might not have achieved the results they did, and I feel really proud to be making a difference.”

Jareth received £500 from Leeds Trinity University’s Inspiring Futures Programme Enterprise Fund in December 2019 to support the development of his business. He’ll use the funding to invest in more technology and contribute towards a Study Skills training course to offer additional support to students. In the future Jareth wants to manage a team of trainers to support more students across the region.

Greg Barnes, head of department for Business and Law at Leeds Trinity University, said: “Jareth’s business has a direct impact on students’ lives every day and it’s something he clearly enjoys. We’re delighted to be able to support him through our Inspiring Futures Programme and look forward to seeing as his business continues to progress.”


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