Shining a light on hidden disabilities

Posted by cc576 at Dec 03, 2020 09:30 AM |
Read the Vice-Chancellor's Blog.

Today we join the UN’s celebration of disabled people, which is focusing on those with hidden disabilities this year.

I think one thing we have learnt from the Covid pandemic is to be more aware of each other and elements of each other’s lives that we can’t see.

And what I hope this has done for us all, and will continue to do, is find more opportunities to work together to make the most of our community in all its variety which is one the aims of the UN Celebration day

I have seen the personal challenges faced by someone with a hidden disability in the life of my mother who suffered with mental health issues for many years whilst holding a full-time job as a School teacher and raising 5 Children!

The University’s Disability Equality Action Group, made up of staff and student representatives, is improving awareness and further embedding disability inclusion and best practice into its services and environment and we all have a responsibility to build on this work.

I have shared before my vision to be a beacon for inclusivity in higher education, which includes ensuring our University is a welcoming, accessible and inclusive place for disabled staff, students and visitors. That’s why we’re taking this week, and not just one day, to celebrate the value in diversity and learn from each other’s experiences.

I hope you’re able to take part in some of the events this week and will be able to take some time to reflect; we need to make sure disability inclusion and equality remains at the heart of everything we do.

I would also like to take this moment to raise awareness again of the Sunflower Scheme, which we support as a means of engendering better understanding of hidden disabilities and inclusion. By the wearing of this badge it allows people to indicate that they have a condition that is a recognised disability without having to have a conversation about it – I know some of our staff and students who are exempt from wearing a facemask indoors have found it helpful.

These are small steps, but we are all Citizens of Change and together we make a big difference.

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