Hey, my name is Nic and I am your Liberation Officer for 2021-22.
Disability History Month has started and I am so excited for you to see the events both the Students’ Union have, and University, are putting on this year. Our commitment to showcasing a variety of disabled voices continues to shine through. Let us remember our past whilst continuing to celebrate those making history in the present.
Scroll down to find out more about Disability History Month, alongside the events and projects your Students' Union have planned for the upcoming month.
Hi! My name is Ella and I’m the 2021-22 Accessibility Officer.
This year’s Disability History Month theme of non-visible disabilities is an area I feel particularly passionately about highlighting - often, students with ‘hidden’ health conditions can feel reluctant to disclose details of their situation that may not be immediately obvious. Some may experience an internal conflict with the concept of disability, with feelings of shame and unworthiness sometimes acting as a barrier preventing those that need it from reaching out for help.
I plan to use this month to gain awareness and support behind my ‘Not all Disabilities are Visible’ campaign to roll out signage on all disabled toilets across the University, and to gain insight into some of the access issues currently faced and changes wanted by students with the Accessibility on Campus stall in the Percy Gee Square.
Disability and Race Workshop with Malak Mayet
6th December 2021 5pm-6.30pm
Percy Gee Building Training Room
Join the Students Union for this wide-ranging workshop led by activist and campaigner Malak Mayet. Malak formerly served on the NUS Disabled Students Committee, and is currently the Universities Coordinator for Campaign Against the Arms Trade. We are lucky to have them join us to discuss the relationship between disability and race, how disabled people have been impacted by the legacy of colonialism, and the modern manifestations of racialised ableism within higher education and beyond.
Not All Disabilities Are Visible
One of the national themes for Disability History Month this year is non-visible disabilities. A non-visible disability is a disability that is not always immediately obvious; they can defy people's assumptions of how they perceive disability and accessibility. They range widely and have varying impacts on peoples lives. Examples of non-visible disabilities include epilepsy, diabetes, and chronic fatigue syndrome.
Due to the commonly held belief that a disability needs to be visible to be valid, people with non-visible disabilities face discrimination within broader society. In social settings, people with non-visible disabilities can face harassment when using the public spaces created for disabled people, such as accessible bathrooms. Politically, people with non-visible disabilities often have difficulty accessing social security or employment protections.
At Leicester SU, we will always stand in solidarity with people with non-visible disabilities. We want to make sure that the Union and the broader campus is an accessible environment for those with non-visible disabilities. As per our newly elected Accessibility Officer's manifesto, we are creating "Not All Disabilities Are Visible" signs for all the accessible bathrooms on campus. This campaign follows in the footsteps of other Students' Unions and even Leicester Train Station. We will further update students on this project shortly.
Accessibility on Campus Stall
14th December 2021 12pm-3pm
Percy Gee Building Square
At Leicester Students Union, we have always valued both the physical and digital accessibility of our campus. All students have the right to partake in the complete university experience. Your SU Accessibility Officer, Ella Johnson, will have a stall on the 14th of December in the Percy Gee Square, where you can discuss any access issues they have had within the University and how the University can further support students.
Ella will be behind the stall between 12pm-3pm
25th November 2021- Percy Gee Building Multipurpose Space
Trade Sexual Health and Leicester Sexual Health (NHS) will be launching their campaign, Leicester HIV Testing Week 2021 across Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland.
Leicester HIV Testing Week will run from 22nd November until 29th November 2021, over the week we will program a series of workshops and HIV testing days for the public to attend across the city and county.
Trade Sexual Health is partnering with Leicester Sexpressions to supply HIV testing on campus in the Percy Gee Building Multipurpose Space on the 25th of November.
University of Leicester In Conversation with Nick Cummins
Tuesday 30th November 12.00pm – 1.00pm (20 mins talk, 20 mins Q&A)
Nick Cummins is a member of the Great Britain Wheelchair Rugby squad that won gold at the Paralympic Games in Tokyo and a PhD student at the University of Leicester. In this talk, he discusses how sport helped transform his life after severe illness and enabled him to forge a new identity as an athlete. Nick will also discuss his experience at the Paralympic Games and how he has balanced his sporting and academic commitments.
University of Leicester Format documents for accessibility webinar
Wednesday 1 December 2.00pm – 3.00pm
An accessible document can be read and understood by a diverse group of students and/or staff, regardless of any disability they may have. This session will explain how documents could create barriers to learning and work, and introduces the elements you need to consider to make your documents and presentations accessible. The presentation will be given in the context of the Public Sector Bodies Accessibility regulations, and will highlight resources and training available to you.
Community or Digital Events
UK Disability History Month
Action On Disability
Parapride- Disability & Sexuality: the Naked Truth
DeMontfort University DHM
Novara Media- Disability: It's Political
What is Disability History Month?
UK Disability History Month (UKDHM) is an annual event creating a platform to focus on the history of our struggle for equality and human rights. It was founded in 2010 by various disabled rights activist groups. Here is their founding statement.