It has been a huge privilege being involved with the Disabilities & Carers Collective this year. Representing the interests of students with disabilities and highlighting carers’ issues in higher education has been incredibly satisfying, and meeting so many wonderfully strong, exceptional students who identify as having a disability along the way has been rewarding and inspiring.
As you are probably aware, ‘disability’ comes in many forms, and is an umbrella term for any impairments, activity limitations and participation restrictions that arise as a result of a mismatch between personal, social and environmental circumstances.
The experience of ‘disability’ is lessened in an environment that accommodates for impairments. The majority of disabilities are not visible because in addition to physical disability, impairments may also be intellectual, psychological, neurological, medical, learning or sensory based.
At Sydney University there are around 1700 students registered with Disability Services. This figure is less than the total number of students identifying as having a disability at enrollment, which means it is likely that many students may not getting the support and provisions they need and are entitled to. Reasons for this are varied, but may include a fear of stigma or a reluctance to disclose information about the nature of their impairment.
If you are a student who identifies as having a disability, we would love to hear about your experience studying at Sydney University. We are collecting data through a brief online survey. You DO NOT NEED to be registered with Disability Services to complete this survey.
This anonymous survey data will be used to communicate students’ experiences and opinions with the University to inform policy and decision-making.
If you haven’t joined us before, please come along to our last meeting for the year on Wednesday 30 October 12 pm at New Law School Seminar Room 442.
Carers will also meet for the last time in Week 13, with day and time to be confirmed. If you would like to be involved, send me an email for more information.