Youtube star Jessica McCabe to come to Iowa City in partnership with Student Disability Services

University of Iowa Student Disability Advocacy and Awareness and Student Disability Services will be co-sponsoring a University of Iowa Lecture Committee event, with guest speaker Jessica McCabe.


Kexin Cheng, News Reporter

YouTube star and disability advocate Jessica McCabe will journey to Iowa City Tuesday as a guest speaker at the University of Iowa to deliver a lecture titled “How to be Unsuccessful in College.”

McCabe began her YouTube channel in 2016 with the tagline “How to ADHD.” The segment involves McCabe making recommendations to her viewers with ADHD based on her own experience living with the condition. 

This week, UI Students for Disability Advocacy and Awareness and Students Disability Services collaborated to sponsor an event with McCabe to address how individuals with ADHD can be successful in college.

“I didn’t succeed at college. I actually dropped out,” McCabe said. “And it’s very common for people with ADHD to drop out.”

McCabe said that her talk on Tuesday will focus on what she believes she did wrong that may have led to a lack of success in college. 

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When she began her YouTube channel, McCabe said it was only her and her laptop. Although she had failed in many aspects, she said, she still wanted to share her experiences with people who struggle with the same problems.

UI Student Disability Advocacy and Awareness President Kaydee Ecker said she introduced herself to McCabe at the Annual International Conference on ADHD in 2018. McCabe was there to give a speech and Ecker approached her about a visit to Iowa City.

“[A] couple months later … I emailed her to start talking about it,” Ecker said. “From there, I reached out to the Lecture Committee to see if they were interested in potentially partnering to bring her to campus.”

The Lecture Committee was very excited about it, Ecker said.

October is Disability Awareness Month, she added, and Student Disability Advocacy and Awareness is planning a number of events that emphasize the need for disability-related talk, Ecker said. 

“There is statistic on the [Student Disability Services] website that 35 percent of the students served have ADHD as their primary diagnosis,” said Andrea Courtney, treasurer for UI Students for Disability Advocacy and Awareness. “Even at the university, that’s a pretty big percentage.”