So, most of my friends know how hard it’s been for me accessing SU societies / events / groups due to my deafness – and i’ve also found that it’s not only me that’s been struggling with access; other disabled students have different issues.
So, imagine my joy to find out that someone like Emili is standing for the Media Officer role in the elections. I’m overjoyed.
So let me rewind all the way back to way before I started my studies at UCLan. I first came across her when UCLan tweeted me when I was discussing disability-related things (I can’t quite remember what), and she tweeted me.
Then fast-forward to the Flying Start event before uni actually started. Emili actually welcomed me to Uni; she wasn’t put off by communication issues, and engaged with me. As she’s been at UCLan for a few years now (post-grad), she knows what it’s like not being a 17 year old. When I couldn’t pluck up the courage to go to Welcome Week events, she was there encouraging me, checking I was OK. Whenever I bumped into her around campus whilst she was doing her duties, she would check I was OK, and actually cared.
We need even more people like Emili at UCLan, welcoming us all with open arms.. no judgement, no pressure, just a friendly smile and care. It’s people like Emili that make you want to do well, and support you with encouragement that is genuine. You’re not just another number on their stats. You are a person, with feelings.
Emili is so disability “aware”, it’s unreal. I mean she just gets it. From speaking with students from over the last few years, it has been missing.
I know that she’s going to bring SU up to the 21st century; ensuring that SU media is as accessible as it can be. She’s even learning some signs. She’s committed to the cause, and willing to learn. She’s not doing it merely to get votes, she’s doing it because she believes in it.
It’s why i’m throwing my full support behind her – and I implore you to do the same.