My personal fave would have to be getting more disability events, particularly for DHM. We massively stepped up Disability History Month last year from the year before, especially with the help of current VP Welfare Aycha, but this year I will get more societies involved to host their own events - YogaSoc's accessible yoga classes and SignSoc's beginner BSL lessons were lovely, but more sports societies deserve to have adaptive events incorporated into the month's schedule to increase the currently very low intake of disabled students into our uni's sports. Perhaps cultural societies can provide educative events on their countries' progress toward disability equality. Speaking of which, this year's Disability History Month will feature a board featured in the entrance to the SUSU building, of snippets about the history of disability advocacy and the progress that has resulted in the UK and abroad! To accommodate for the extra load of events, I will work with the web/marketing team to trim down how they advertise the event on social media, but I will also make sure that events are more spread out across the month than last year's, as I know the exhaustion of attending so many events in such a short period of time from personal experience. Of course, as mentioned in my manifesto there will also be guest speakers at workshops focusing on autistic advocacy, with a cozy focus on sensory comfort! Plushies and chew toys can do wonders to help your mental health :>
Candidate for Disabilities Officer
- Promoting faculty hands-on support and intervention
- Pushing for more disabled toilets and larger bins
- Physical and social accessibility guide for societies, especially for sports
- More events but less advertisement spam for Disability History Month
- Monitoring and collecting community feedback for new special considerations system
Why vote for Beems Brealey?
I’m Beems, an autistic bean studying Mathematics with Statistics in my second year. I have extensive experience in voluntary work. I’ve been a secondary school mentor for students with needs, helped design a sensory room, and have helped on forums for mental and physical health for years. I’m currently Disabilities Officer for SUSU, and I’m looking forward to another year of helping our community!
My policies this year involve:
• Getting faculties’ hands on support
Abolish attendance marks, replace with check-ups for students who drop off attendance. Further pressure on support coordinators to implement support recommendations ASAP, and to fully verify that such accommodations are being correctly provided.
• More facilities, better signage
Installing Changing Places toilets as well as larger bins in existing toilets, adding braille stickers to lift buttons and signposts, redesigning stairs for high-contrast colour, thoroughly reviewing building information on the AccessAble website.
• Creating new and more accessible welfare training resources
Creating a new guide for physical and social accessibility for societies – make societies aware of existing (optional) disability disclosure forms. Work with web team to improve mobile compatibility for the Moodle training site where this will likely be hosted.
• Further improving Disability History Month
Splitting up the overwhelming spam of SUSU advertisements to be more tailor-made to your preferences. For DHM itself, more History, more events across the month, and more activity on other campuses!
• Reviewing accessibility and connectivity between campuses
Monitor and push for far better wheelchair accessibility for BlueStar buses. Push for free passes to WSA students for upcoming new route between Winchester and Portswood
• Reviewing new Special Considerations system
Collecting feedback from disabled and neurodiverse students on the upcoming Special Considerations process, and continuing to act as a bridge between students and the Student Hub in general for issues such as this.
• More routine wellbeing events
I will organise joint events with the Disability and Inclusion Team for casual drop-in conversations with wellbeing practitioners, and will organise guest speakers for the Autism Matters workshops. I will continue the Chatty Cafés provided this year whilst also introducing “cuddly workshops” involving plushies and tea!
This year as Disabilities Officer has been a fascinating yet productive one. Changes have been promised to the Special Considerations process, SUSU’s own respite area being made in the Welfare Room, with a sensory wall due to be installed soon. To me, it is clear that there are many working at the university who are passionate to provide access to students of all backgrounds and health, but there is still so much more to be done to get disabled students the help they deserve.