New poster campaign is making invisible disabilities visible on campus

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By Zoë Crowther, Students' Union Correspondent

The Disabled Students’ Network has been sticking posters on the outside of disabled bathrooms in order to spread awareness of less visible disabilities.

The aim of the campaign is to make those with invisible disabilities feel comfortable using accessible toilet facilities, and to reassure them that they have justified reasons to do so.

Chair of the Disabled Students’ Network, Felix Manocha-Seymour, explains: 'This might include people who have limited mobility but do not use an aid such as a wheelchair or walking stick, and people who have sensory issues and need a quiet bathroom.

'Also people who have digestive problems and/or use a device such as an ostomy bag, and people with mental health conditions such as OCD who benefit from a cleaner bathroom.'

The posters have been distributed in order to remove the stigma surrounding invisible disabilities and remind able-bodied people that there are many reasons why accessibility can be important to a wide range of individuals.

Many UK charities have also tackled the issue of invisible disabilities: Scope in particular have discussed the need for publicity surrounding the topic, and emphasized the importance of ensuring that there is support and connections in place for these groups.

The Disabled Students’ Network shall be running various campaigns through this academic year. The Chair of the Network has said 'my main focus will be working with the University to ensure that they start providing adequate support to students who have to suspend or defer their studies or withdraw from the University due to a disability.'

If you are affected by any of the issues highlighted in this article you can find the Disabled Students’ Network and the other representation networks on the SU website: https://www.bristolsu.org.uk/student-voice/networks


Featured image: Paul Green / Unsplash


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AUTHOR

Zoë Crowther

Students' Union Correspondent