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International Day of Persons with Disabilities 2021.

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International Day of Persons with Disabilities 2021.

The worlds population is over 7 billion people and more than one billion (around 15%) have a disability. 80% of disabled people live in developing countries. Barriers around the world prevent disabled people from fully participating in society. The International Day of Persons with Disabilities is an annual United Nations initiative to put a spotlight on the barriers disabled people face around the world and encourage governments to adopt a more inclusive approach to supporting and encouraging disabled people.

The theme this year is about fighting for disabled rights in a post-covid world. Everyone throughout the world has been affected by Covid-19. The global pandemic has highlighted many inequalities around the world and in particular issues for disabled people such as accessing health care and rehabilitation, social isolation, and mental health. There is a call from the UN for more meaningful investment in services for disabled people and a reduction in barriers that disabled people face every day. It is also an opportunity to recognise diversity around the world and learn from disabled people and to show a commitment to equal human rights.

In the UK 14.1 million people have a disability. This is a growing number and every year we see an increase in disabled students at CCCU. We aim to be more inclusive with our teaching, support and in the University as a whole. The pandemic has affected people in different ways. It has been a particularly difficult time for disabled students. They have had to adapt to more remote ways of working and have received any support remotely too. This has been a challenge for some students. Also, some disabled students have felt more isolated due to having clinically vulnerable conditions. They have also missed out on some care and medical appointments due to lockdowns etc too. One major affect of the pandemic has been the rising numbers of people affected with mental health conditions. One positive thing about the pandemic is that the issue of inclusivity was highlighted. Inclusion is about ensuring systems, teaching methods and services are made inclusive and good for everyone. This is an important factor to highlight moving forward.

Connect with support at Christ Church

At Student Wellbeing Services we have three teams: Disability, Mental Wellbeing and Student Support. The Disability Team can assess your needs and produce a Learning Support Plan which will mention reasonable adjustments to be made as well as providing support around Disabled Students’ Allowance (DSA) applications and any other disability advice you need. The Mental Wellbeing Team is here to support you with any mental health conditions and there is also a counselling service. If you need any support with any other issues such as personal or financial advice, please contact the Student Support Team.

Disabled students can contact disability@canterbury.ac.uk for any information or advice about disability and support. If you have a mental wellbeing concern you can contact mentalwellbeing@canterbury.ac.uk. For any other issues such as finance and accommodation please contact studentsuport@canterbury.ac.uk. Also, if you are feeling isolated you may want to visit the connect pages for information about activities and groups that can help.

Blog written by Sharon, Student Disability Manager

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