Disabilities & Carers Officers – Week 3, Sem 1 2018

Robin Eames, Mollie Galvin and Ren Rennie

In 2018 the Disabilities & Carers Collective is splitting into the Disabilities Collective and the Caregivers Network.The Disabilities Collective is an autonomous collective for undergraduate students who have a disability, defined by the UN Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities as “long-term physical, mental, intellectual or sensory impairments which in interaction with various barriers may hinder their full and effective participation in society on an equal basis with others”. This includes people with mental, chronic, or terminal illnesses; people who are neurodivergent; and people who are D/deaf or hard of hearing, even if they do not personally identify as disabled or as having a disability.

The Caregivers Network is an initiative for students who provide substantial informal caregiving support to friends or family members who are disabled.

We are hoping that this change will mean that disabled students and students with primary caregiving responsibilities are able to access supportive communities without conflating or neglecting the needs of either group.

We’re very excited for the upcoming year and we had a strong start at OWeek. We had shirts for sale for the first time ever (we still have a number of shirts for sale, so get in touch at disabilities.officers@src.usyd.edu.au if you’d like to buy one!) as well as Auslan alphabet stickers and flyers. Currently we’re collaborating with the Disability Action Plan 2019-2024 working group, and looking to support the NSW Disability Advocacy Alliance’s “Stand By Me” campaign against cuts to disability advocacy funding. Wewill be hosting regular collective meetings throughout the year. We’re also hoping to host a non-autonomous screening of Defiant Lives sometime soon, so keep an eye on our Facebook page if you’re interested in attending!

Love & solidarity,
The 2018 Disabilities Collective Officebearers