CUTODAY SPOKE to the students advocate for disabled students at Coventry University about the ‘Disabled student forum’, which attempts to raise awareness of the academic, social and general accessibility issues disabled students face at the University.
Anthony Ani Disabled students officer at Coventry University and founder of ‘Disabled student forum’ said: “Nothing is in place for disabled people not only in the faculty but the school as a whole that’s why I decided to form disabled student forum”
The forum was set up in February of this year to give a voice to disabled students within the University, allowing students to meet and chat about anything within the University that they want to raise, something that Anthony felt was half the battle: ” The problem we have as disabled students is that if you don’t ask us we don’t speak “
Issues Disabled students face includes the accessibility of University; something that Anthony said the University was working hard to improve by communicating with its disabled students. However the problem wasn’t the lack of accessibility or opportunities for disabled students but rather both groups awareness that they exist.
Anthony suggested one of the main problems is their social life. When it comes to joining sports and societies he suggested that it’s important that disabled students realize that even if they are physically unable to compete in some of the activities there are still other ways of getting involved:
As the Disabled students officer Anthony said “sometimes we feel discriminated” but stressed that he’s not seen anyone that’s shown any unfairness towards disabled students but rather they that they have a perception of some of the societies not being open to disabled students and that it’s a case of the students being aware that sports and societies are open to everyone and the societies catering for disabled students that want to join.
“Disabled students should feel free to join any sport of their choice… Those sports society should create a scenario whereby we can be a part of what they’re doing”
‘Disabled Student Forum’ meets on the first Friday of each month at 12pm in meeting room 1 in the Student Union.