The University of the Arts London has the potential to be industry leading in their approach to accessibility and inclusivity, instead the second-best rated Arts University in the world continues to be inaccessible to many disabled artists.
As a former Disabled student, I am continuing to lobby the University to become step-free following successful campaigning to make Camberwell College of Arts commit to do so last academic year. Although this work is delayed due to COVID-19, the pressure must be sustained to ensure that the University commits to spending its money to better the experience of those with mobility restrictions.
Looking forward, we hope to work with the University to ensure that the new builds at London College of Fashion and London College of Communication are fully step free and well designed with disabled artists and designers in mind to make a better and more inclusive creative industry for everyone. After acknowledging the changes that are due to be made, we will be looking at sites that are intended for continued use to ensure that there are plans to make these fully accessible too.
As well as step free access that affects some Disabled students, we are also asking UAL to make lecture capture compulsory for all subjects. This will not only benefit Disabled and Chronically Ill students, but it will also help students who have a learning disability or students whose first language isn’t English. Lecture Capture makes sense for all students, many universities already offer this service. We demand that UAL keeps up with the rest of the education sector. I will also be working with the Students’ Union’s internal communications team and the UAL’s communications team to make sure our online provision is fully accessible; this includes adding subtitles and image descriptions to our social media and website posts.
As Activities Officer, I’ll be working with our Sports Clubs and Societies this year to collaborate with our committees to identify barriers that could stop students participating in our activities. We want our communities to be open for anyone to join.
Activities Officer - Eleanor West
· UAL to publicly commit to making all their campuses step-free
· Lecture Capture to be compulsory for all lectures for this academic year
· Improving digital accessibility for Arts SU and UAL communications
· Highlighting and promoting accessible curation