Disabled Students

UK Disability History Month 2022 – Disability, Health and Wellbeing

We are supporting and promoting UK Disability History Month 2022, running from 16 November to 16 December 2022. Find out more about DHM and what we are up to!

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We are supporting and promoting UK Disability History Month 2022, running from 16 November to 16 December 2022, with the theme of Disability, Health and Wellbeing. We want to raise awareness and visibility of the important history of disability in the UK and highlight the issues that people from this community experience.

There is a dark and difficult history surrounding the perceptions and treatment of disabled people in the UK, which were founded in Social Darwinism and Eugenics. These immoral theories sort to segregate and incarcerate disabled people in workhouses, asylums, and institutions to ‘improve the human race’ and ‘rid the population of social ills’ (UKDHM.org 2022) As a result, disabled people are viewed through the Medical Model Approach which places the responsibility on the individual for their condition. This has been further exacerbated by years of austerity since the financial crisis of 2008. Austerity refers to political-economic policies that reduce government budget deficits by cutting funding and raising taxes. As a consequence, essential support and healthcare provisions have been greatly reduced, and a cruel narrative in the media exists that stigmatises disabled people as ‘benefit scroungers’ and lazy.

This Disability History Month acknowledges the detrimental role that COVID-19 has played on the rights of disabled people in the UK and the further stigmatisation of this community. It demonstrates how little was put in place for those who are vulnerable and vocalises how they were not protected in the ways that they should have been, which has reoccurred throughout history. The pandemic also exacerbated the mental health crisis, which is having lasting impacts on both visible and invisible disabilities.

We want to use this opportunity to share what we are doing at Your Students’ Union to address this, beginning with the creation of a Disabled Student Community Group in January, which you can register your interest to join here: https://www.yoursu.org/community/edi/disabled/ This group is aimed at raising comments about disabled students experiences and inform/feedback to Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) Leads, Your Students’ Union EDI Committee, Coventry University’s EDI Committee, and Community of Practice. This is a really important step to improving these experiences and supporting our disabled and neurodivergent students.

In the coming weeks, we will be hosting events to raise awareness of these experiences, which will be shared shortly, as well as blog posts about disability support, resources and accessibility at Coventry. We also want to signpost to the disability services; disabilityadvisor.ss@coventry.ac.uk, as well as our mental health services; counsell.ss@coventry.ac.uk, and emphasise that at Coventry, we try to have a large range of support in place, and so if you are not receiving this or if you are conflicted about disclosing, please know that we really care about supporting you in a way that you are most comfortable with. For research students, if you find that this advice is not applicable to you, please contact Nikki Harkin at the Doctoral college; at ac9113@coventry.ac.uk

Also, make sure to check out the library disability support page for more information about what is available for you https://libguides.coventry.ac.uk/dis or message our Disability Librarian Gill Evans g.evans@coventry.ac.uk

See here for links with accessible content into the important history behind disability history month and read about it: https://ukdhm.org/

 

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All our best,

Jodie (Disabled Student Community Lead & HLS EDI Faculty Lead)

Catherine (Your Students’ Union Community Officer)

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