University of York Students' Union (YUSU)

Blog

Let's Fight Disabled Bullying

Posted by Thomas Ron, 20/09/2013

Hello all

One of my major campaign pledges was to fight disabled bullying in this university.  As a neurodiverse student I can state that I have faced a large amount of stigma and exclusion due to me being who I am.  I know that I am not alone either.  Words that are disablist are commonly used in colloquial speech and further the stigma students face on a daily basis.

It is also commonly seen as acceptable to isolate or exclude students who are 'weird', ostracising them and keeping them out of social circles making university feel like an unwelcoming place.

Our goal must be at York to ensure that disabled students can feel as welcome and as part of the community as anyone else.  Therefore, this bullying needs to stop and action needs to be taken against such bullying.  The university itself provides excellent services to fight bullying but often students do not know about them or feel that they would be 'causing a scene' or 'complaining about nothing'.  Therefore, the Disabled Students' Network will be attempting to launch a campaign both to spread information about how unacceptable some of these terms are and to inform students that they should not accept these statements or ostracism from other students.

We will be launching this campaign in the middle of the first term.  If anyone wishes to get involved in this campaign or has some ideas on how to do it, please e-mail me at access@yusu.org