Communications received a number of emails this week from young people with disabilities who were inspired by the story of Eleanor Hurton, reported in The Star newspaper recently.
Communications put Star reporter Jess Gibson in touch with Eleanor because she’d won two Blues awards and seemed an ideal fit for the newspaper’s new ‘Young & Successful’ column.
Eleanor is an amazing disability advocate as well as a Master’s of Sociology student who has an auditory processing disability herself.
The young people who emailed us had disabilities themselves or were looking for more information for siblings with disabilities. Many of them had been told they wouldn’t succeed at university – even those at the top of their class! – due to their disabilities. They had never seen a positive representation of someone ‘like them’ and were so excited and inspired that is was quite humbling. Many of our email writers are now applying to UC!
Communications replied to the emails and shared our equity and disability webpage links for further information. Eleanor is already part of the UCMe campaign launching at the start of 2020, so that also is very inspiring for young people with disabilities.
Takeaways from this experience:
One news story can make a huge difference to someone’s life.
Young people with disabilities don’t often see successful examples of people like them.
There may be some misinformation out there about who can succeed at university.
At UC we want everyone to feel safe on campus and to report any behaviour that makes you feel uncomfortable for any reason.
Today we’ve launched a new anonymous online reporting tool, Report It, to coincide with Pink Shirt Day, the global movement that celebrates diversity, promotes positive relationships and takes a stand against bullying.
Staff and students can use Report It to raise concerns anonymously. We understand you may not always feel comfortable making a formal complaint and would prefer to remain anonymous.
The information provided via Report It will be used to inform future strategies and education initiatives that address behaviour and improve respect and inclusiveness at UC.
Many universities here and overseas already use similar tools and UC has drawn from their experience. A number of UC teams have been consulted about the development of the tool including staff and student representatives from across the University on the Central Equity and Diversity Advisory Committee (CEDAC).
Bullying or harassment, whether on or off campus, is not okay. Without exception UC will not tolerate bullying, harassment or discrimination of any kind.
We can all work together to build an even stronger and supportive community for all.
- More information about the Report It tool is available here>
- You can find the Report It tool here>
- You can still make a formal complaint by following the Raise a concern process here>
The draft version of UC’s Equity and Diversity Policy is currently out for consultation, and staff are encouraged to provide feedback on it.
The document articulates the University’s commitment to equity and diversity and is intended as a framework for embedding principles relating to equity and diversity at UC. It has been developed by the Central Equity & Diversity Advisory Committee.
Read the draft policy here
Feedback can be emailed to Timothy Rowe up until 31 July 2017.
See more about equity and diversity at UC