International Day of Persons with Disabilities falls on the 3rd of December each year, with the theme of Not all Disabilities are Visible for 2020. It focuses on spreading awareness and understanding of disabilities that are not immediately apparent, such as mental illness, chronic pain or fatigue, sight or hearing impairments, diabetes, brain injuries, neurological disorders, learning differences and cognitive dysfunctions. There are around 5% of students in UNNC currently living with a disability that is not immediately apparent. We want this day to remind staff and students of the importance of removing barriers for all people living with disability, both visible and invisible.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, isolation, disconnection, disrupted routines and diminished services have greatly impacted the lives and mental well-being of people with disabilities right around the world. Spreading awareness of invisible disabilities, as well as these potentially detrimental— and not always immediately apparent— impacts to mental health, is crucial as the world continues to fight against the virus.
Below are the activities UNNC’s Disability Awareness Campaign will run this year to raise awareness of inclusivity and diversity on campus.
►Date: 2 – 4 December 2020
1. Activity for students: Running in the Dark (14:00 – 16:00,2 Dec. 2020, on campus):
It is a non-profit social project initiated by “Dialogue in the Dark (China) Social enterprise” in March 2016. The mission for “Running in the Dark” is “Accessible Course, Accessible Minds”: To change the society’s discrimination and stereotypes against marginalized groups through inspiring visually impaired people participating in sports events to raise self-esteem, encouraging them to merge into mainstream society and partnering sighted runners and visually impaired runners to improve mutual understanding through close contact. And now it will be launched in UNNC. For more information, please click here. Please join in here.
2. Public Lecture: “But you don't look sick ...": The trials and triumphs of life with Crohn's Disease (2 Dec. 16:00 – 17:00pm, Multifunction Room 01 in the Library)
Abstract: 36 years ago, he was diagnosed with Crohn's Disease and has lived with crippling fatigue, arthritis, abdominal pain and a multitude of other symptoms since then (including two major and countless minor operations). He must often use disabled toilets, much to the chagrin of people outside who do not see a wheelchair. When he was diagnosed at age 14 he vowed that the disease would never stop him doing what he wants to do: it hasn't, though as he gets older he finds the symptoms are limiting him somewhat. He has campaigning on hidden disabilities for many years and this time, he would like to share his personal stories and experience of how to live with hidden disabilities. Please join in here.
Speaker: Professor Gary Rawnsley (Dean of Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences)
3. Workshop for staff: Helping Student with Mental Health Issues (9:00 - 10:00/16:00 – 17:00, 3 Dec. 2020, TB331/TB103)
Mental Health problems are considered an invisible disability and yet among university students, they constitute the highest proportion and the fastest growing of all disabilities. This workshop will introduce staff to the main mental health problems experienced by our students and the implications of these conditions for the lives and ability to study of those students. The workshop leader will present some guidance for staff on language and approaches which are most likely to be helpful in supporting these students. Please join in here.
Workshop Leader: Patti Wallace, Head of Counselling & Wellbeing, has 44 years’ experience working in the mental health field. She is a counsellor, psychotherapist and psychologist and has worked as a practitioner, service manager and academic teaching postgraduate counselling psychologists. Her particular expertise is in the area of suicide and in working with university students.
4. Workshop for students: How to recognize hidden disabilities. Disability Support briefing (14:00 – 15:00, 3 Dec. 2020, DB-A01)
Hidden disabilities are usually hard for friends, parents or even ourselves to identify. The workshop will explore all kinds of hidden disabilities so that students can have a basic understanding of this important topic. In addition, the support available for students with disabilities and how to access it will be introduced. Please join in here.
Workshop Leader: Jean Wu, Senior Manager, Disability Support and Health Promotion, has 13 years’ experience working in Disability Support.
5. Workshop for students and staff: Dialogue in Silence (13:30 – 16:30, 4 Dec. 2020, IMET 407)
Dialogue in Silence Workshop will show participants how to hear and listen in silence. The focus is less on how we express ourselves but on how others perceive what we communicate to them. The workshops foster openness, empathy and power of concentration. One of the outcomes is, that participants feel empowered to ask for feedback, question assumptions and verify that the messages communicated were understood as intended. As the workshop comes to an end, participants take off their headsets and discuss how the techniques learned foster personal growth and business performance. For more information, please click here. For staff, please join in here, for students, please join in here.
Visit our disability support page for students’ experience sharing.