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Candidate for the position of NUS Disabled Students' conference delegate

Image for Callum Chapman

Callum Chapman

Accessibility, Accessibility, Accessbility

Hi, my name is Callum and I am standing to represent Sussex at the NUS Disabled Students conference this year. 

I am also running as the student with disabilities officer and want to be the NUS delegate so that I can’t improve on the skill I have developed from last year conference and to build upon and create more networks between disabled students’ groups around the country. I am hoping that by becoming the NUS delegate to the disabled students conference I can learn from other university about how they have addressed accessibility and how we can hopefully adapt some of these and bring them to Sussex.

I have included my manifesto so you can see how committed and passionate I am to create a more accessible campus for all, and I hope you will vote for me to become your delegate.

If elected I will fight to make sure every student with disabilities receives help so that they achieve to the best of their ability. My aim if elected is to level the playing field for students, fighting for students’ rights and making Sussex a more inclusive place for students with disabilities. I would always be open to talk to students, to understand how your disabilities affect you as an individual. I recognise that no experience of a disability is the same and we need a varied approach in how we address the problems you may face. I would encourage all students with disabilities to highlight their problems around campus to get their often ignored perspective heard.

Some of my proposed ideas

  •  Work closer with Access Sussex and the Welfare officer to fight for more improvements to campus and highlight inaccessibility that students face every day. 
  • Improving Mental health and Disability support, so no student slips through the cracks, helping to build on current schemes the Students Union run and where appropriate highlight what can be done to help students further.
  • Highlighting Access issues with students to make them more aware of everyday issues students with disabilities may face.
  • Highlighting that not all disabilities are visible and making the wider student body aware of this.
  • Providing help to Students with disabilities to understand what they could be entitled to.
  • Helping highlight the issues that disabled students face in their everyday lives and how systems like Universal Credit are damaging towards helping students achieve more.
  • Continuing to work to make sure lectures are recorded for students that need them, as it is a reasonable adjustment.
  • Making improvements to the Students with Disabilities room, making it feel more comfortable and accessible for all.
  • Fostering a welcoming environment on campus, creating a community where students can be support networks for each other.

I have been working this year with May, the Welfare Officer, as well as with other students and the SU to help reorganise the Access group, which champions for improved accessibility on campus as well as highlighting the need for education on issues surrounding visible and invisible disabilities. Disabled Students have the deck stacked against them and as such we need substantive justice to level the playing field making sure that all student are able to achieve their highest potential at university. 

We as a university need to work harder to make sure that students are receiving as much support as they need and that it is never ok for a student to simply slip through safety nets. I want to end the taboo of talking about mental health and disability around campus and highlight that Sussex can be a place of fantastic collective action and that students of Sussex care strongly about one other and their community. If you feel I would be a good students with disabilities officer then please vote for me!

Experience Representing Students 

  • Sussex Delegate to NUS disabled students conference 2018 
  • International Relations 1st and 2nd year Rep 2017/2018 and 2018/2019
  • Senator for Social Science 2018/2019
  • Chair of Global Studies Rep team
  • One of the individuals who helped to restart the Access Sussex Group
  • Fought the University Housing Office and achieved a price decrease for students that needed an unsuited room as part of their disabilities.