Happy Disability History Month! I’m Meg Darroch your Academic Experience Officer, former Disabled Students' Rep, and the creator of #DoItMyWay. If you haven’t already heard, it is currently Disability History Month and I knew I had to write a little something to highlight it. I hope you have refilled your mug and got your snacks ready!
Hey, I’m Meg Darroch your Academic Experience Officer, former Disabled Students' Rep, and the creator of #DoItMyWay. If you haven’t already heard, it is currently Disability History Month (DHM) and I knew I had to write a little something to highlight the importance of this awareness month. DHM celebrates the lives of disabled people and challenge disabilism. I hope you have refilled your mug and got your snacks ready!
Being neurodiverse and identifying as disabled makes me proud but I understand that everyone is at different stages in self-acceptance and seeking support. For many years I have been misunderstood, told learning would be a struggle, and laughed at for desiring to make the world a better place. I decided that running in the election to be the next Academic Experience Officer would enable me to make change and represent more students at Leeds Beckett University. I wanted to make a difference in their academic and course based interests whilst proving that no disability should hold you back.
Did you know that only 22% of autistic people are in full time employment?! I knew that working full time as an Officer was never going to be easy! My communication and processing difficulties and often feeling overwhelm when I have too much on would create additional challenges for me to overcome. I may require extra support with communication to ensure that I don't end up feeling too overwhelm, but it doesn’t take away from my innovative ideas! My quirky questions and my my determined approach to making student’s lives better bring something unique to this role.
My tips to working with a disability:
- Understand your needs
- Be brave – people are there to support you
- Understand that there are internal and external processes to enable you to thrive
Being you will always be the most important thing! We might have difficult days, but there will always be someone there to put a smile on our face and reassure us that everything will be ok! I'm very excited to share with you my latest project. Last week I launched #Doitmyway, an accessibility toolbox aimed at empowering disabled students to advocate for themselves at the Student’s Union and beyond. Make sure you check that out!
I hope you enjoy the rest of Disability History Month, celebrate what makes you unique! Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org to chat to me about anything related to my role, disability and accessibility.
Your Academic Experience Officer