Plain Text Version:
Re-elect Melissa as DSO
Awareness. Integration. Celebration.
I’m Melissa Martin, your current Disabled Students’ Officer and a second-year sociology student at Warwick. I live with a long term health condition that limits my mobility, so I use a wheelchair or mobility scooter to get around. I also have direct experience of living on the autistic spectrum and mental health conditions.
- Disabled Students’ Officer 2017-18
- Active Member of Liberation and Diversity Exec
- Warwick Enable Welfare and Access Officer 2016-17
- Sociology SSLC Representative 2016-18
- Disability Wales Embolden Ambassador Nominee 2017-18
- Warwick Arts Centre Access Ambassador
What I’ve Already Achieved as DSO:
- Ran ‘Warwick Unlimited’ Accessible Dance Festival, encouraging societies to improve accessibility and allowing disabled students the opportunity to explore dance
- Worked closely with Warwick Enable to arrange Disability Celebration Week, which included event collaboration with the library
- Worked alongside the current Sports Officer on the Reshaping Sport campaign to improve accessibility of sport for disabled students
- Advised a wide variety of societies on how they could improve accessibility of their events, not just for physically disabled students but for those with hidden disabilities or mental health problems
- Worked with the university to devise a hate crime strategy
- Encouraged university-wide use of lecture capture as an accessibility tool
- Running regular Disability Community Meetings to provide disabled students the opportunity to report and discuss any issues they are having
- Worked to ensure the accessibility of SU food outlets, including protecting the availability of straws for those who need them, ensuring the continued availability of priority seating and beginning discussions about the need for a gluten-free ale
- Delivered information sessions for international students, postgraduates and students on the autistic spectrum during Welcome Week
- Raised accessibility issues regarding the SU building, resulting in prompt work to resolve these
- Worked with Disability Services and Wellbeing and Support Services to increase student engagement, provide student feedback and raise awareness of the support available
- Provided guidance signposted appropriate support for a considerable number of individual students
- Supported Warwick Enable with their campaigns and socials
- Worked tirelessly to improve attitudes and dispel disability myths and stereotypes among students and staff on a daily basis
- And so much more…
Why I’m Rerunning:
While I am very proud of my achievements as Disabled Students' Officer so far and will be continuing my work for the remainder of this academic year, I appreciate that these are only very small steps towards creating a truly accessible and inclusive university environment, so I would appreciate the opportunity to continue my work in the upcoming academic year.
My time in the role so far has allowed me to refine my approach, which surrounds increasing awareness of the barriers that disabled students face, breaking down these barriers to fully integrate accessibility into the fabric of our university environment and celebrating the potential of disabled students when such barriers are removed.
If re-elected, in the coming year, I would focus on academic access issues, particularly the use of lecture capture and ensuring more consistency in implementation of accessibility policy across faculties and departments. I would continue to prioritize access issues around campus, be these physical barriers or unhelpful attitudes, and I would continue my focus on improving access to SU events and activities such as societies, sports clubs and volunteering. My goals are perhaps somewhat vague but following my time in post so far, I have come to believe that my approach in itself is more integral to my work as DSO than any individual targets, allowing me to resolve issues as students raise them.