A popular YouTube star will receive a honorary degree from the University of Worcester in the UK.
Jessica Kellgren-Fozard has long advocated for disability and LGBTI rights through her YouTube channel and blog. Kellgren-Fozard has a hereditary neuropathy and sometimes uses a wheelchair. She also is deaf as a result of her hereditary neuropathy.
Comedian Jo Brand, Holocaust survivor Mindu Hornick and former England women’s footballer Marieanne Spacey-Cale will also receive honorary degrees from the university.
Kellgren-Fozard rose to fame on BBC reality TV show Britain’s Missing Top Model. The show about models with disabilities helped raise visibility.
‘I’d never felt represented in the general media so wanted to make videos about topics that were important to me but would also hopefully educate people who hadn’t thought about these issues before,’ she told The Argus.
‘It’s very important to be able to have a voice and a space to show abled bodied people that disability isn’t scary and dating someone with a disability is not a terrifying prospect that they should close their minds to.’
The YouTuber will receive her honorary degree in on Friday (9 November) and will give an address to 3,800 students.
Students at the university nominated Kellgren-Fozard for the honorary degree.
‘It means so much that this honour has been chosen for me by students who feel my work has inspired them,’ she said.
It’s been a big year for Kellgren-Fozard. In August this year she married her partner of four years in a gorgeous beach side wedding.