Hello! This is my first update as your Disabled Students Officer for 2021! My job is to represent disabled students on a university level, and I also help to run the Disabled Students Campaign, which is a wonderful community where all disabled students can come together to socialise, work together for change, and support each other. I’ve had a busy start to my time in office so far, and I hope that I’ll continue to have lots of exciting things to update you on throughout the year!
The DSC has been so important to me while I’ve been at Cambridge — I first got involved around 5 years ago and I’ve held various roles on the committee since then. I’ve found such a great sense of community and made so many friends and received amazing support. I ran for DSO because I wanted to be able to guide the DSC forward for the next year, and give back to the community that has helped me so much in my time at Cambridge.
The past couple of weeks I’ve been working with the DRC on creating resources for their Transition Day, which welcomes disabled freshers to Cambridge, and gives them the information and help they need to make a smooth transition into university life. I’ve recorded Q&As with various staff members from the DRC and I’m working on resources about self-advocacy as a disabled student. I’ve also been updating our Disabled 101 guide ready to give out at Freshers Fair!
As well as updating the DSC social media (@CambridgeDSC on Twitter and Insta), I’ve been using the summer to plan out activities for the coming year. In addition to lots of strategy planning with my fellow sabbs, I’ve met with the fantastic new DSC committee to discuss our priorities for the year, and get ready to hit the ground wheeling when term starts! For example, I’ve got some great work planned with AccessAble over the coming months to ensure better accessibility in colleges! (https://www.accessable.co.uk)
As always, one of my key priorities is spreading awareness of what ‘counts’ as disability, and encouraging students to feel welcome and get involved in the DSC. We’ll never ask anyone for proof of disability or diagnosis, so if you feel like DSC might be for you… it probably is!