Today is the International Day of Persons with a Disability. The theme this year is “Promoting the participation of persons with disabilities and their leadership”. The Guild Access Department recognises the importance of promoting people with disabilities into roles of leadership, and at its core operates to fulfil this and to act as a leader within UWA to promote the inclusion of people with disabilities.
Fundamentally, people with disabilities must be included in decision making processes that affect them. When they are not, the decisions often ignore those with disabilities or offer only tokenistic support. Not only should their voices be heard, they must be able to attain positions of leadership. We must ensure our structures do not place an undue burden on people being able to take up those positions.
We call on the UWA community to reflect on how they can better include people with disabilities in their decision-making processes and how they can better make their positions of leadership accessible - not just on this day, but every day.
The Guild Access Department will continue to play its role as a voice for students with disabilities and to promote a more inclusive and accessible UWA.
Martha J. McKinley & Mike Anderson