University of York Students' Union (YUSU)


End of Term Report

Posted by Thomas Ron, 11/12/2013

Hello all

Happy holidays to everyone and all that.  I am just going to put down the major advances Disabled Students' have seen over the last term.

First and foremost we had a very interesting Mental Health Awareness Week, where we put up posters to raise awareness of the statistics around Mental Health.  We also had our Living Library and a very successful panel event with NUS Disabled Students' Officer Hannah Patterson coming.

We have also been behind the creation of the Key Contacts scheme with the Sports Union to get ablism out of Sport and ensure disabled students have the ability to participate at anytime they want.  Additionally, we have a new Disability Sport Activator: Katie Carnell who has been working with them and us to acheive our goal of fully accessible clubs and perhaps even a disability sport event at Roses 2015!

I have been on the steering committee of Constantine College and have been ensuring that the kitchens are not only accessible but also friendly to disabled students, meaning that the hobs are spread out to avoid claustrophobia, tables are kept at a decent distance from doors, etc.  I hope to be involved in the planning of College 10 and any new refurbishments so that we have a fully accessible university.

I have also worked with Peter Quinn of Student Support Services to have a drive for students to apply for DSA and diagnostic assessments.  Now that they are a lot cheaper and the installment plan is being phased in, it has become more affordable to do so.  Nouse has published an article about how students who get DSA do better than eligible students who do not, so please apply for DSA if you think you can get it.

I have also been working with George to try to put some pressure on the Health Centre to improve its act.  Upon going around to meetings with students and hearing the complaints about the Health Centre, it is clear something will be done.  I am happy that I have been put on the committee and will ensure that the interests of disabled students are heard loud and clear.  Additionally, members of the Disabled Students' Network are going to be passing a policy to have direct action whenever the company ATOS is on campus, due to their terrible record with disabled students.  I will also be appealing to careers to not allow ATOS on campus at any point in careers fairs.

Finally, I am proud to report that the position of Disability/Access Rep has been filled in every college.  This year we are the ONLY Liberation group to achieve this.  We have a promising team of new reps who will be mentioned here.

Alcuin: Helen Cox

Derwent: Joseph Williams

Goodricke: Callum Dziedzic

Halifax: Josh Salisbury and James Tracey

James: Montana Davies-Shuck

Langwith: Calum Stewart

Vanbrugh: Naomi Barrow

This is great progress and I look forward to working with the next team over the course of the year

See you all next year