Click on a word which is in blue and bold to read what it means.
Maria Alexandrova is an 18-year-old student from Bulgaria.
She lives with cerebral palsy.
Cerebral palsy is a group of disorders that
affect person’s ability to move.
Cerebral means having to do with the brain.
Palsy means weakness or problems with using the muscles.
The Cambridge Assessment is an English exam
organized by the University of Cambridge.
It is recognized by employees and universities
as proof of ability to speak English.
There are exam centres in 130 countries.
Maria moves her arms more slowly than her peers.
So, it was more difficult for her to complete the exam
in the limited time required.
Maria asked the University of Cambridge to
adapt its Advanced English examination
to her needs.
For 3 months, she advocated for
different examination conditions to
give her equal chance of gaining this certificate.
The only difference she advocated for was
for the writing module of the exam.
She would be using a computer instead of a notepad.
Maria never gave up.
“If you have the drive to accomplish something,
there is nothing impossible.”
The examining centre finally agreed to
- change the timing of the exam,
- let her use a computer.
Weeks later, she successfully passed the exam.
She has become the first person with disabilities in Bulgaria
to receive this English certificate.
“Some people take education for granted,
simply because it was given to them.
But for people like me,
education is a right to be fought for”.
Her fight allows other students with disabilities
- to take the exam,
- to increase their chances of going to university and finding a job.
You can watch her story
with English subtitles here: