helen-louise (baratron) wrote,
helen-louise
baratron

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Disability awareness at a UK university in Not Crap shocker!

I am simultaneously highly impressed and highly unimpressed. How so? Well, when I saw Philip on Friday for our "official" progress meeting, he told me about a seminar he was planning to go to on Wed 31st March. I looked at the list of speakers and decided I wanted to go too. So I fired off an email to the person in charge: Read more...Collapse )

By the time I'd finished writing that and hit send, it was 19:05 on Friday 19th March.

At 07:58 on Saturday 20th March (barely 13 hours later - and not a work day, either!), I received the following reply:
Hi Helen-Louise,

We are glad that you are coming down to Southampton for the seminar.

The seating in the room is fixed, so if you bring a cushion that may be best. If it ends up being too uncomfortable, come see me on the day and we can always get you a chair.

The women's toilet is on the same floor (turn right out of the lecture theater, go to the end of the corridor, then turn left).

I can certainly ask the speakers about you recording their lecture. I can't imagine it will be a problem, but they may be presenting unpublished data and people can get funny about that, so if any object, you can always talk over points that you may be interested in, over tea and at the wine reception afterwards.

When you come in on the day, the entrance to building 30 leads to a set of wide stairs that you will need to go up to get to the lecture room. There is another route that does not have any stairs. If enter via building 29 instead (just down the road from 30, also chemistry) and go through those doors and turn left, there will be a lift. Take it to level 2. Turn left out of the lift and LTR1 will be there.

Best wishes,

Ali

Am I impressed? Yes! Very much so! He answered all my questions extremely promptly, and spontaneously realised that my mobility restrictions meant it would be sensible to provide information about the alternative route to the lecture theatre - all without asking a single intrusive question.

That wasn't even the end of it. In a second email sent on Mon 22nd March at 11:58, he confirmed that two of the lecturers had given permission for me to record their lectures, and apologised that the third is currently hard to get hold of. That's a few hours into the first working day since receipt of my email. Incredibly fast work. 

All in all, I feel assured that I will be welcome at the event, and if I have any problems on the day I will be able to ask for help without being seen as an inconvenience because of my physical ability.

Now, shall we compare this to the lot who are organising that symposium in June, who still haven't managed to answer any of my questions. And perhaps I'll mention again that duty under the Disability Discrimination Act is anticipatory. Clearly, somebody (or several somebodies) at Southampton are much more aware of this than certain people within Birkbeck and/or UCL...

Update: I replied to say thank you for your awesomeness. Read more...Collapse )
Tags: conferences, disability
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