Name Surname: Laura Soler Azorin
Background: University Degree
I have a degree and PhD in Hispanic Philology from the University of Alicante. I was elected member of the Government Council and the University Senate, as representative of my Faculty, and I was President of APDUA (Association of Students with Disabilities of the University of Alicante). During one legislature (from 2007 to 2011) I was Socialist Councillor in the City of Alicante. I have worked in the International Projects Office of the University of Alicante which has led me to teach courses counting my experience in universities Africans such as Kenitra (Morocco) and Alexandria (Egypt), among others. I am currently a professor at the Faculty of Education at the UA (University of Alicante).
I am a dreamer, to whom the wheelchair has not been a barrier but rather the opposite. I was in a scout group from 7 to 14 years old in a completely normalized way.
I love to read, listen to music and travel and, the most important, enjoy with my family and friends, because for me the beauty of life is being able to share moments. I have a curious hobby that is watching Latin American soap operas. I talk about it on my blog ‘latelenovelaescosaseria.blogspot.com’ which also led me to do my Doctoral Thesis on the subject called ‘Theory and criticism of the Latin American soap opera’.
During my university career I was able to do a one-year Erasmus grant during the academic year 2005-2006 at the ‘Paul Verlaine’ University in Metz, which was a fundamental experience in my life. Just now I returned from six-week mobility at the Chilean universities of Magallanes and Viña del Mar as visiting professor.
The reasons that have led me to develop my career as a teacher in the Faculty of Education have been to fight for people with disabilities, to help them the achieve the same status that according to their training, corresponds to them.
As professor in the Faculty of Education, I have the opportunity to train future teachers and to normalize motor disability and to emphasize the concept of full inclusion.
In addition, the fact of being a professor at the University allows me to have a platform to be able to transfer the message of equal opportunities to other countries. And it also allows me to research in the field of higher education, gender and disability. A genre little explored yet
If I have to think about the threats that accompany me every day, I can name the existing competitiveness in the teaching career in which there is still no quota reserved for people with motor disabilities, which complicates access and progress in the workplace.
If I have to describe my competences, I can affirm that I have facility to learn and that I adapt easily to changes. When it is necessary, I like to team up when I work and for that reason, I listen and pay attention to the problems that other people have. I have no problems when I need to ask for advice and, in the same way, I am able to use my own experience to give advice to others. I have no problem to manage all my activities, both at work and in my private life.
I consider myself a persevering person, optimistic by nature and with great empathy towards third parties. I am critical of myself and the society where we live, but I have great confidence in the people around me. When defining myself as a professional, I am an active and creative person, who likes to innovate and who knows how to be practical in the situations that happen to me every day.
If I have to give advice to other women with disabilities who want to develop professionally overcoming the barriers of their own disability, I would tell them to believe in themselves and what they want to do. To persevere and do not faint on the way because as I like to repeat ‘the only struggle lost is when you abandoned’. My three magic words are: work, perseverance and training.
In my case, when it comes to looking for inspiration, I had to look for it in my parents and in a friend older than me, a high school professor in a wheelchair.