When we read about all the amazing things that disability advocate, Jerusha Mather has been up to – we just had to connect with her to find out more.
Jerusha has cerebral palsy and says medical colleges in Australia make it very hard for people like her to get accepted – and she wants that to change.
“When I was a teenager, I fell in love with neuroscience and I saw myself in a career where I could lead in the medical field and create positive change for people with disabilities.”
Despite the obstacles that Jerusha faces both personally and professionally due to having a disability, she doesn’t give up. The words ‘give up’ are simply not in her vocabulary.
She mentions that people’s attitudes towards disabilities need to change and when it comes to study and achieving her medical dreams, her biggest achievement has been passing the Graduate Medical School Admissions Test (GAMSAT).
One reform that Jerusha is currently supporting, is for medical schools to accept people with disabilities without a GAMSAT or Medical College Admission Test (MCAT).
“Some medical schools accept indigenous students without a GAMSAT or MCAT score. so, I’m asking for the same to be done for people with disabilities,” she says.
Challenging the parameters of medical science isn’t the only reform Jerusha is fighting for. She’s been doing a huge amount in the accessibility space, including accessible food packaging, jewellery, fashion, make up and self-care products.
Oh, and did we mention inclusive dating!?
That’s right. She’s even put her own hand up to become Australia’s first Bachelorette with a disability – to create awareness and make people with disabilities included in the mainstream media. And we are here for it!
Jerusha’s passion for change doesn’t stop there. She’s also been calling for inclusive immigration policies to include people with disabilities who’d like to live in Australia.
While we can all agree that Jerusha’s list of achievements is beyond impressive, there is definitely no sign of her slowing down anytime soon.
“I think knowing that my PhD research could make a tangible difference in someone’s life, drives and motivates me to finding fulfilment in what I do,” she says.
Jerusha’s message to anyone out there with a disability is don’t give up and don’t back down. “Go for it. Keep knocking on doors and the right one will open.”
Click here to support Jerusha and her petition urging medical colleges to be more inclusive.