Manifesto

Candidate for the position of Disabled Students' Officer

Image for Heather Sweeney

Heather Sweeney

As Disabled Students’ Officer I would focus on three main areas of work: Accessibility, Reliability, and Accountability

 

Accessibility

  • Online classes have shown us that different methods of learning work for different people. I will push to have all options available for every individual in order to access the best education they can. 

  • I will demand streamlined learning when we are permitted to return to campus. Online learning resources need to stay at the same standard they are now, if not higher, when in-person teaching resumes. 

  • I would create and enforce guidelines on resources provided online: specific readable fonts, colours that are readable for everyone, access to scripts and better subtitles, as well as separate audio files of lectures uploaded to learn. 

  • As well as all this, I want to look at accessibility for those working online from home who lack the proper resources, I wish to explore grants for Wifi provision, hardware, etc.

  • Accessibility also includes inclusivity, I hope to expand our learning about disabled people, who they are and what they have done, in the classroom and outwith.

Reliability

  • There has to be a reliable framework in place to support students on campus and at home.

  • I want to prioritise support networks at an individual level. We are all connected and it is our responsibility to accommodate everyone, hence these support networks would target three main areas:

  • Friends: I want to provide specific social events within this group; as there is variance among this community. Events focused on disabled students who are LGBTQ+ or BAME, would be a priority of mine.

  • Staff: provide underlying bias training to staff, as well as have teaching staff follow guidelines while they teach that are inclusive of disabled students’. 

  • Peers: I believe by enforcing standards for in-class resources, the understanding that we need to accommodate others becomes a reflex rather than something we have to actively keep in mind. 

Accountability

  • I am not informed, or an authority, on every subject, and as such I want criticism, learning, and expanding my view due to other students’ an absolute priority if I were to be elected. 

  • I will host bi-weekly sessions available to all students to discuss their feelings about the University, its provisions, but also to learn what I can do to best help the people at this University.

  • As well as the feedback surveys, I want to create live feedback sessions for those who would prefer to give feedback aloud or in-person. 

  • I also want to implement a method of anonymised complaint or feedback to specific departments and individuals such as myself, as when your identity is attacked on campus it can feel impossible to talk openly with people about it.