Chloe Manihera's involvement with Disability Information & Support basically came out of the blue - the result of a week she'd rather forget.
Within the space of a few days she was hospitalised due to a bite from a white-tailed spider, lost a much-loved great grandmother, and then had to have all her wisdom teeth pulled.
This all took place just before the now fourth-year human nutrition student returned to Dunedin for what would prove to be a challenging year of study in 2011.
"So when I came back to Uni I was quite sick and ended up getting glandular fever. I also had an allergic reaction to something, and the doctors still don't know what it was, but it caused my eyes to swell up and become really irritated," she says.
"I would go to class and even if I was in the front row I couldn't read what was on the slides. And because of my glandular fever I was just exhausted."
Counsellors at the Maori Centre sent her to DI&S who helped her initially with a note taker and, later, a separate exam room so she could deal with her allergies and fatigue during exam time.
Chloe says the notes were really good and detailed: "It's always hard because people have their own way of writing notes but the person that I had was really detailed and used different colours for things, which was cool, because I like a combination."
The support helped her get through that tough first semester and in the second semester she was able to be the note taker for someone else. "I kind of felt that was my way to give back."
Chloe hopes to go into public health by doing a Postgraduate Diploma in Public Health, majoring in Maori and Pacific Health, possibly followed by a Masters in Dietetics.
Foundation Studies at the University of Otago also offers a Bridging Course in chemistry. Workbridge is a professional employment service for people with disabilities.