Disabled Students’ Officer Updates: 23/01/17

This post will contain my recent sabb updates in line with CUSU Council, which occurs fortnightly during full term – the last one being 21st November 2016. I have plans to eventually put all my past council updates on this blog, but for now here’s what I’ve been doing since the end of Michaelmas 2016. If you have any comments or questions, or things you’d like me to look into or note, please email disabled@cusu.cam.ac.uk

  • Attended the ‘Fitness to Study Network’, a meeting with various members of the University (senior tutors, the DRC, the head of student conduct and complaints (OSCCA)) and some GPs to discuss the University’s fitness to study policy, and how it should be reformed. Reform is important because, as every college has their own fitness to study procedure, the University’s central one has never been used. The purpose of this meeting was discuss what a central University policy might be useful for, including issues like conflicts of interest.
  • Prepared and delivered a session at CUSU Conference, entitled Disability Activism and Accessibility at Cambridge. This gave student representatives in autonomous campaigns, JCRs and MCRs some baseline knowledge of the Equality Act 2010 and how it affects disabled students at Cambridge, as well as some practical tips for working with the Disabled Students’ Campaign over the year.
  • Represented students in meetings
  • Updating and finalising the new DSC website, which you’re currently on! Lots of resources in the resources tab so do take a look.
  • Preparation for a new zine looking at the intersection of gender and autism – watch out for this, will be opening submissions soon.
  • Attended a committee on the lecture capture pilot project which is currently being run in some University departments (including engineering, biochemistry, the vet school, and ICE). Some very interesting student feedback is currently being analysed, and students overwhelmingly report (disabled or not) that they struggle to effectively take notes and understand the lecture simultaneously. These meetings are monthly.
  • I’ve also had input into the student-facing text that will appear on the University website regarding the new sexual harassment policy. The implementation of this policy has sadly been pushed back but the web text will be good to go when it’s released.
  • I’ve also been finalising the text for the Disabled Students’ Campaign’s Guide to Undergraduate Intermission. This should be ready within a couple of weeks.
  • Met with John Harding at the DRC to discuss the Uni4 bus, lecture recording, committee papers, and resource creation for students
  • Creating a best practice guide for college-based intermission support with the W&R officer
  • Assisted the Access & Funding Officer with the Shadowing Scheme
Disabled Students’ Officer Updates: 23/01/17

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