Week 14: Activity 27.2: Student Life
1. What action has been taken to make sure that disabled students are able to take part in the same non-teaching activities as other students?
2. What other action could be taken?
3. In your view, which role in your context carries the responsibility for ensuring that such action is taken?
This is something that really concerns me. As an academic support worker I am meant to be involved in academic activities only as that is what the DSA pays for. Luckily my last supervisor agreed with me that these instructions could be translated fairly liberally and I was able to use time to introduce students to the Students Union, Islamic Centre, Athletics Union and the various clubs etc. This makes a big difference to the students in the first weeks of their first semester as they start to build a social circle that can support them at university. This can make a difference between success and failure at the academic course and I think it is vital. Currently this university does not have any mentors that could supply this service although other universities do this as a matter of course. I feel that it is the responsibility of the university to ensure that their facilities are accessible to disabled students.
For example, the Student Union Societies Fair is not accessible to disabled students. It is in an accessible building but it is in a hall that is crowded with stalls and people and someone using a wheelchair or on crutches would not be able to use it. It is also very dark with loud music playing. Anyone with a hearing or visual impairment hates it and I do not think that I need even mention those with Asperger Syndrome - it is a nightmare and even with physical support they find it difficult. Last year I collected bags of freebies for some of the students and gave them out to them later. It was not the same but they did end up going around carrying the same shoulder bags as all the other freshers and getting the 25% Dominos discount voucher codes!