Meet Kate Walker

Name: Kate Walker

Please share any updates since your last interview: Wow…so much. Things were so different in my last MTC. For starters, I’m 20 years old and a junior in college. I am now a full-time wheelchair user and only walk at physical therapy with AFOs and a harness system. Throughout the past year or so, I have been taking my physical health very seriously because it helps me maintain my independence. I go to college six hours away from my dad and do almost everything independently (shower, clean, laundry, grocery shop, etc.). I am also on Skyclarys and have found it has a better effect if I am active. I go to physical therapy twice a week and my trainer three times a week.

What do you want to discuss more on? College

When did you start college? August 2021

What made you choose this? Getting a higher education was something I always wanted to do. I love learning and having a college degree will open many doors for me in the future. I go to the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville and am studying Supply Chain Management and Marketing with a minor in Business Analytics. I love Arkansas and it was the best decision for me.

Does FA impact this? FA impacts me a lot and has played a huge role in my college experience. I have many academic accommodations such as extra time on exams and permission to type instead of handwrite. The disability office here has been amazing and has helped me advocate for myself and make sure my accommodations are exactly what I need. I have to carefully pick my schedule with my advisor every semester to have the time and energy to go to doctor appointments, physical therapy, and training. Just moving to a new city in general required a lot of preparation. I had to find a new PCP, pharmacist, counselor, physical therapist, and trainer that would work with me and that I was comfortable with. Finding a living space that works for me has been the most difficult. Most students at Arkansas move off campus after their freshman year, but I am still living in an on-campus dorm as a junior. This is because this is the living space that I know works for me. The maintenance and staff of my building all know me and have gone above and beyond to make sure that I am safe and comfortable and are always willing to add any sort of accommodation I may need.

Anything more to share: College has completely changed my life for the better. I have met so many great people and have had so many opportunities through my sorority, RSOs, and just being a student in general. Living independently has taught me so much and is a gift that I am so grateful for every day. I know it is not a luxury that everyone with FA gets to experience. FA is hard for me sometimes, but the happy and exciting times are more abundant than the sad and painful times, which I am eternally grateful for.

Interviewed by
Mary Nadon Scott