CUSU Disabled Students' Campaign
The DSC was founded in Lent 2010 uniting and representing disabled students throughout the university aiming to fight inaccessibility for all disabled students. We have a longer introduction to the Campaign and the ethos for creating it.
After a fizzle and long break the Campaign returned in Lent 2015 determined to tackle some big issues. By February 2016, we had successfully campaigned for the introduction of a full-time Disabled Students' Officer to the CUSU sabbatical officer team via a referendum, proving the DSC's revival to be an overwhelming success!
The Campaign is run primarily through our Open Meetings where we together take decisions that shape the Campaign. The Campaign is lead by the executive who are elected via CUSU's online voting platform.
Welcome new Freshers! This site is currently being updated by the new Disabled Students' Officer, Jess, who has been in post since July 2016.
For any access needs before (or during) your time at Cambridge, get in touch with the Disability Resource Centre. They're a University-wide service dedicated to ensuring reasonable adjustments are in place. This can be anything from specialist mentoring, to lecture recording devices.
We'll have a stall in the CUSU Tent at the Freshers' Fair on Parker's Piece, all day on 4th & 5th October. You'll be able to meet members of the current exec and learn about events planned for Michaelmas 2016!
After successfully acquiring the necessary 350 signatures (well over that, in fact), we have been able to call a referendum on CUSU's constitution, altering certain clauses such that, if it passes, we will create a 7th sabbatical officer role: A Disabled Students' Officer. Getting the initial 350 signatures was the easy bit. Over Christmas 2015 we will be working on campaign materials for a yes vote in the referendum which will take please in either week 1 or week 2 of Lent Term 2016. If you would like to get involved in this campaign or have advice or resources, do contact us, as we would love to hear from you.
A lot of people organising events in Cambridge an elsewhere don't provide any sort of access information, because they don't know what to include or they don't know that it's good to do this at all, fewer still provide comprehensive details. It's important to realise that to be accessible you need to provide details of your access - it doesn't matter how many ramps, hearing loops, quiet spaces etc you have if someone can't find out they are there then they cannot attend freely and the event is not accessible to those with access requirements. We have created a reasonably comprehensive statement generator which will enable you to have an access statement autogenerated at a few clicks of the mouse, however much or little information you have.
With the help of CUSU, as well as via the consultation of other autonomous campaigns, we are in the process of updating and expanding our access statement generator. More to come.
Information is everything. It would make a huge difference to many disadvantaged students if they simply knew about everything that could help them and were aware of all the problems with the system. If you have a wealth of knowledge please go make a page and fill things in. It doesn't matter if it's a stub for now, it will be expanded, but letting everyone know help merely exists is so important. We are calling it the Cambridge Wiki of Disability (CWoD).
We are shortly launching a new resource library. The library will be hosted in CUSU offices, shortly to be joined by the Harry Harris CUSU LGBT+ Library in a dedicated room. This is entitled New CUSU DSC Disability Resource Library and we are hoping to expand it so we would really appreciate any suggestions for the library - you can email us or fill in one of the slips at the library, you can also view the catalogue online to help with suggestions or in order to request a book (we can bring books to our open meetings (see our events page for upcoming events) or drop them by pigeon holes for those who have access issues in coming in to the library.
You can view our all our upcoming events here.
We have two mailing lists that you might be interested in.
The announce list is low traffic and keeps you aware of when our events and open meetings are, and what the big things going on in the campaign are. Follow the link to sign up.
The discussion list has more traffic as it serves as a place for discussion of the campaign as a whole it is a good way to be fully involved in what's going on in the campaign. It can include discussions about the campaign as well as allowing people to discuss disability related things and organise meetups etc. Follow the link to sign up.
You really can get involved in the campaign however much time and spoons you want to put in and the campaign is lead be all the members through open meetings. However there are generally vacant positions within the the exec so if you are interested in joining the committee then do get in touch, the Disabled Students' Officer(s) are good to get in touch about this.