December sees the Students’ Union (SU) launch a series of events to mark Disability History Month.
The events have been organised by the SU’s Disability Officers and the Disabled Students’ Society.
Events taking place during the week beginning on Monday, 10th December include workshops, opportunities to learn about the life of disabled students at the University, and a film screening.
Disability and Me is a “showcase” of disabled staff and students at the University. Held in the Students’ Union’s foyer on Monday, the showcase involves activities students can take part in, such as making a badge that can be worn to show support of the campaign.
On Tuesday students can meet with the Disabled Students’ Society at the Quiet Lunch Space. Students are invited to find out what the society do and how they can get involved, in an environment where social interaction is optional. The event will be in Room 2.2 at 11am-1:30pm.
The Theory of Everything, in which Eddie Redmayne portrays a young Stephen Hawking as he discovers he has motor neuron disease, will be screened at 6:30pm on Wednesday in Room LG1. The screening will be followed by a debate discussing ableism in the movie industry.
Also on Wednesday is a Queer + Disabled Zine Making Workshop. Led by Ali Harri, the workshop allows for space for students who are both queer and disabled to “connect, vent, and share their experiences of these two identities”, in a creative, social, and relaxed space. Art supplies will be provided, along with snacks and refreshments.
Closing the SU’s events will be Disability and Sex Work: The Unseen Connection, a conference that will explore the high rate of sex workers identifying as disabled or as having a long-term condition. The conference will be held on Thursday at 4:30pm in Room 1.6.
Each year Disability History Month, a national, unofficial observance of the history of the disability rights movement, runs from 22nd November until 22nd December. It is supported by a wide range of groups and institutions, including unions and voluntary organisations.
The theme of 2018’s Disability History Month is disability and music. The theme has been selected with the aim of drawing focus to the struggles of disabled-identifying creatives in a world in which they face barriers due to their impairment.
Disabled students make up 15% of the University of Manchester student population. Support offered to these students consists of the Disability Advisory and Support Service, or DASS, which aids disabled and mentally ill students in completing their academic work and in other aspects of university life.