Disabled Students

Led by the Disabled Students' Representative, our community organise on behalf of students at Leeds Beckett who identify as being disabled.

We believe in a social model of disability, that disability is caused by the way society is organised through barriers and discrimination, not because of our individual impairments. The social model of disability looks at ways of removing barriers that restrict life choices for disabled people and enables them to be independent and equal in society, with choices and control over their own lives.

Our manifesto outlines our vision for making disabled students' lives better.

We recognise that over time priorities change, students come and go with new ideas and it is intended that this manifesto will change with them, adding new priorities and celebrating achievements as they occur.

Alongside our friends from other marginalised groups, we all agree that it is our responsibility to promote greater intersectionality and inclusivity of students, including but not limited to faith, disability, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation and race.

We do not tolerate racist, anti-Semitic, islamophobic, fascist, sexist, xenophobic, ableist, LGBT-phobic or ageist views expressed within our space and consider these views, by their very nature to be threatening and intimidating to our members and our values.

Manifesto Priorities

 
 

Engagement

  • We will work to strengthen engagement with the Campaign, through visible and accessible activities, to forge and open and inclusive community for disabled students to network and seek support from their peers.

 
 

Accessibility

  • We will lobby the University to further their work around campus accessibility, building upon the recent launch of DisabledGo.

  • We will lobby the University to make lectures more accessible, taking steps to improve the layout of lesson plans, room lighting and use Lecture Capture.

  • We will campaign for the introduction of 'access hours' at events to support students with mental health concerns or who struggle in social environments.

  • We will campaign for better access to sports for disabled students including awareness of the needs of disabled students when accessing gyms and sporting facilities and the provision of specialist kit for disabled athletes, which can be prohibitively expensive.

 
 

Support

  • We will lobby the University for improve support services to aid the retention of disabled students and reduce the numbers who drop out of University.

  • We will develop strong lines of communication between the Campaign and the Leeds Beckett Disability Advice team to ensure that the needs of disabled students are fed back to the University quickly and efficiently.

  • We will lobby for Reasonable Adjustment Plans to be implemented earlier in a students' academic career to ensure they have the best student experience from acceptance through to graduation.

  • We will support the campaign for cross-campus lecture campture to ensure that all students have access to recordings of their lectures regardless of whether they have declared a disability.

  • We will seek to work with the Leeds Beckett Careers Team to improve the support available to disabled students and lobby for an extension of this support to ten years post-graduation.

  • We will work to ensure that disabled students feel confident in the transition from further education to higher education and education to the workplace by lobbying the University to offer more support and advice on approaches to interviews, writing CVs and cover letters and disclosing a disability to an employer, and the introduction of workshops to help gain valuable skills.

  • We will undertake research into financial challenges for disabled students and lobby the University to mitigate the costs of dyslexia testing and essential computer hardware.

  • We will actively promote the 'Safe Spaces' on campus and explore the potential for creating de-stress, sensory and quiet spaces with the University.

 
 

Awareness & Education

  • We will develop opportunities for students and staff to learn about different disabilities and participate in events designed to raise awareness of the challenges faced by disabled students due to the way society is organised.

  • We will work constructively with the University for the improved understanding of lecturers and tutors of their students' individual needs to ensure disabled students can learn in an inclusive environment.

  • We will look into supporting the trnasition from further to higher education; including being visible at open days and lobbying the University to provide further guidance to Schools and Colleges that support and encourage disabled students to apply to University.

 
 

Mental Health

 

  • We will work with the SU to provide mental health first aid training to staff, officers and Reps who wish to undertake it.

  • We will explore the opportunities to collaborate with and organisation such as Ben or Samaritans for 24-hours crisis support and promote specialist helplines that meet the needs of our diverse membership.

  • We will develop a Mental Health Awareness Month, working collaboratively with the University, student societies and community groups to highlight and raise awareness of mental health and reduce the stigma surrounding it, with specific efforts around men's mental health.

 

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