Hello, my name is Rahul and I’m your NUS Scotland Disabled Students Officer for 2016/17
As an international disabled student arriving in the UK I had no idea what to expect from my University, let alone the national student movement. But getting involved was the best decision I’ve ever made. I’ve had the opportunity to meet and learn from student activists across Scotland and the UK, and to contribute to important national campaigns such as those resisting Prevent or defending Disabled Students’ Allowance. But the reason I ran to be your Disabled Students’ Officer is because I believe that as a stronger, more active, and informed collective we can influence a positive change to the lives of disabled students in Scotland.
With Scotland being dragged out of the EU against the democratic will of its people and a Conservative government in Westminster, led by a Prime Minister who voted for an ideological assault on the poor and disabled through austerity; we as disabled students, now more than ever, must fight to ensure that our rights and our welfare state remain protected from further cuts.
During the past year alone we’ve heard of several disabled international students brought to the brink of deportation, even when such action contravened the EU Convention on Human Rights. Disabled international students who, whilst being held in detention centres, were not given access to their medication. We cannot allow this to continue happening.
We’ve seen many oppressive measures imposed on students but we must continue fighting as a united movement. This year, let’s create a campaign that will ensure that NUS is in your union and is listening to you. Let us inspire the next generation and take a stand for what we want to see in the next few years.
Working locally with SU’s and the Disabled Students Committee, this year we will:
- Conduct research into every Scottish institution that will highlight the challenges and barriers that disabled students on campus. This research will also look into small & specialist SU’s and apprentices, looking to establish what the minimum level of support looks like for our students.
- We will provide activist training for each and every Scottish Disabled Students’ Officer to enable officers to do incredible things and make a difference with the right support and assistance from their national union.
- Work with James Elliot, the UK Disabled Students’ Officer, to establish and lead a Scotland specific campaign around mental health and suicide prevention.
- Work to ensure that we are able to set out a vision for DSA that includes Further Education students.
The campaign will be releasing a more detailed Plan of Work within the next month outlining how we will go about achieving our priorities this year. Please get in contact if you want to find out anything else or how you can get involved.
Email : Rahul.Singh@nus-scotland.org.uk