Disabled Students Collective

Welcome to the Disabled Students' Collective!

We are here to support the activities and interests of all disabled students on (and off) campus.  A disability is defined as 'a physical or mental condition which has a substantial and long-term impact on your ability to do normal day to day activities.'  This could take many forms and includes visual impairments, hearing difficulties, physical/mobility issues, neurodivergence, and learning difficulties such as dyslexia - as well as mental health problems and other hidden disabilities.  We strive to maintain a welcoming and supportive community, to whom you can turn for advice, comradery, advocacy, and much more besides.

 

If you identify as a disabled student or meet the definition given above, then you are welcome to join our Collective as a member.  Doing so grants access to our Microsoft Teams channel, where we may discuss issues concerning the campus, ideas for improving student experience, advice on individual issues, and fun social activities.  Membership also establishes your right to vote in our annual Convenor elections, which determine who is responsible for running the Collective, as well as who represents you on the Wellbeing, Community and Diversity Executive.  If you are not disabled, but still wish to keep up with our progress and activities, then please do consider joining us as a supporter.

 

Our Conveners

Chair - Nathaniel McShane

A photo of Nate sat in his wheelchair. He is wearing a burgundy and navy coat, blue jeans and back converse. He is looking at the camera and smiling.Hi, I'm Nathaniel or Nate for short.  I use he/him pronouns and am a first-year computer science student having completed a foundation year last year.  I am autistic, have mental health issues, and am under investigation for a physical disability currently thought to be neurologically caused.  Due to my physical disability, I am an ambulatory wheelchair user - this means that I can walk with a walking stick on most days but on days where I am in more pain, or may need to go a longer distance than normal, I will use my manual wheelchair.  

I wish to make this campus a welcoming experience for all, with accessibility and community being high on my list of priorities.  I also want to have events and talks around topics regarding disability, focused on bringing more awareness to varying issues we may have and how others can help.  I hope that, when I leave this university, I can truly say that it is a better place for all disabled students than when I arrived.

 

Convenor - Elle Powers

  I’m Elle and I’m currently completing a Masters by Research in French Studies. My research is in French Disability Studies, and more specifically the relation between the private body within the public realm in French auto-fiction. I also graduated from Royal Holloway in BA French and Italian in 2020. I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia, a chronic pain condition, in the second year of my undergrad. 

My interests in the collective include raising awareness of invisible disabilities and the impact of chronic pain and disability on mental health, as well as social engagement and events. I will be beginning a weekly series of posts in BSL on our social channels, and will be working towards other (online!) events too. I would like my role as convenor to make real, tangible change for students who self-identify as disabled within the RHUL community.                    

        

Convenor - Isaac Crosby

Isaac, a relatively light-skinned male, with dark tied-back hair, glasses and dark clothes, standing in front of a brick wall.Hello!  My name is Isaac and I'm a second-year Liberal Arts undergraduate student, currently enrolled in modules delivered by the Schools of Humanities, Law and Social Sciences, Life Sciences and Environment, and Performing and Digital Arts.  I am autistic and have a specific learning difficulty (SpLD) that impacts the rate at which I process information.  I also have a chronic illness/physical disability, in the form of Joint Hypermobility Syndrome and am currently awaiting diagnostic assessment for Ehlers Danlos Syndrome (hypermobile-type).

My aim for the Collective is to ensure that disabled students at Royal Holloway feel that they have people on whom they can rely in crisis and who will represent their needs to the College or Students' Union.  As such, I am eager to lobby for policy changes that make teaching, assessment and the wider student experience more accessible.  I am particularly interested in raising the profile of invisible disabilities and ensuring that those who may not self-identify as disabled but would nonetheless benefit from our support feel welcomed and able to participate fully within our community.

 

Contact Us

You can contact us using our email address: disabledstudents.collective@royalholloway.su

Alternatively, you can reach us on our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/rhdisabledcollective

Follow us on Instagram: @rhdisabledcollective


Joining Collectives

There are two different types of membership available: member and supporter. If you’re purchasing a membership, that means that you identify within that group (i.e. if you identify as LGBT+, you would join that Collective as a member). If you don’t identify within that group, but wish to support its activities and campaigns, you would join as a supporter.

Only full members of the Collective (i.e. people who identify within that group) are able to take part in the democratic processes, such as the elections to be a convenor. To be able to run in the election to be a convenor of a collective, you’ll need to make sure you “purchase” a free membership. This should then make the elections platform available to you. You may have to wait up to 24 hours for this to register on our system.

If you’re looking to get involved in a Collective, you’ll need to “purchase” your free membership and then you can get involved by attending any events listed or by getting in contact with the convenors. We’ll be opening up elections again in May should you be interested in becoming part of the leadership of a Collective.


How to become a convenor

To be eligible to run in the election to become a convenor, you’ll need to make sure you are a member of it first. Only full members of a collective (i.e. those who self-define into the individual groups) are eligible to run in the nomination and/or vote.

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  • Disabled Students Collective Member£0.00
  • Disabled Students Collective Supporter£0.00