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UEA Celebrates Disability History Month

The aim of the month is to empower and inform.

UEA’s known for student empowerment and activist events – including clebrating Black History and LGBT+ History Month earlier in the year – but in amongst the mix of summatives and hectic pre-Christmas prep is UEA's Disability History Month.

Much more than just another cup in Unio, this year’s Disability History month focuses on empowering students with both physical and hidden disabilities, and spreading education and awareness about student life with disabilities.

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Its not just about the cups.

Whilst the UK wide Disability History month started last Wednesday on November 22nd, UEA SU’s events start from this Monday. First up on the calendar is The British Sign Language talk and screening of either Mandy or The Miracle Worker in Union House from 5-8pm.

The ‘Disabled Students lead change event’ on Wednesday the 29th event in union house at 2pm, will explore how Disabled Students can get involved with student democracy in the SU. Careers Central will be brought in to deliver a talk about applying for jobs with disabilities, and cover topics like how and when to disclose your disability. This event is all about showing disabled students the paths to advocate for themselves and others with help from the SU and that they can lead change on campus culture and lobby for accessibility.

On Friday 01st December, Former Health Minister Norman Lamb will be giving a talk on mental health, and the gap in treatment between physical and mental health in the NHS. This will be held by the Lib Dem society in the E.Fry building, room 01.10 from noon – 2pm.

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You can find all the events on the SU website.

There’s a ‘This is what a disability looks like’ workshop on Tuesday the 5th of December, educating students on ‘invisible disabilities’ and encourage them to think about how to accommodate those with not immediately apparent, needs. On Thursday the 7th there will be a showing of The Theory of Everything, starring Eddie Redmayne. The award winning film explores how Stephen Hawking adapted to life with ALS syndrome.

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One of last years PAT dogs getting lots of love

Finally – and perhaps saving the best till last – is the ‘The Pets as therapy’ session hosted by University Peer Support group Umbrella, with therapy dogs ready for appreciative pats in 20 minute slots from 11-2:50pm in the LCR. This should be booked early in advance to get to the Doggos without disappointment, because who could resist ‘the call of the adorable’ to de-stress from summatives.

Emily Cutler, the SU officer for Students with Disabilities, had this to say:

“Disability History month gives disabled students a chance to celebrate their lives and highlight the challenges that we face to others- as well as giving the whole campus a fantastic chance to better understand their friends and course mates, thousands of whom have visible and invisible disabilities here at UEA. I’d encourage everyone to come to one of the events and get involved.”