Policy for use of our Facebook pages and groups
We would like to draw attention to our policy for use of the CUSU LGBT+ Facebook pages and groups:
- Individuals are not permitted to advertise events on any CUSU LGBT+ page unless they include a detailed access statement, as outlined below.
- Content notes should be provided for posts/events which may have upsetting subject matter for certain individuals.
Please note that we will ask you to amend your post if you do not follow these guidelines, and may remove it.
DSC Accessibility Pledge
The CUSU LGBT+ Campaign is committed to making sure all members of our community in Cambridge feel welcome and accepted. That’s why we’ve signed the DSC Accessibility Pledge, promising to make our community as accessible for disabled people as possible. You can read what this pledge involves below, as well as find more information about the pledge and how to sign here: https://www.disabled.cusu.cam.ac.uk/accessibility-pledge/.
We would like to take this opportunity to encourage all J/MCRs, societies and campaigns to sign this pledge to help all students feel that they are welcome and accepted.
Writing an event access statement
Access statements should have contact details of the organiser so that they can get in touch with any access issues.
An event cannot be made 100% accessible but organisers should be upfront about what they can and cannot accommodate.
Below are some examples of things you should include in an access statement (whether or not they are available):
- Hearing loop
- Step-free/wheelchair access (and/or roughly how many stairs an attendee would need to climb)
- Accessible/gender-neutral toilets
- Seating (comfort/reserved?)
- Content notes
- Subtitles for films
- Destimulation/quiet zones
- Allergy-friendly food
This is not an exhaustive list! The DSC website has an access statement generator which can be used to help write access statements. For more information, see the Disabled Students’ Campaign Accessibility Pledge for best practice to ensure your event is as accessible as possible.
CUSU LGBT+ Committee Accessibility Policy
CUSU LGBT+ has the following guidelines to ensure any events run by us or College LGBT+ Officers are accessible to disabled1 students. This policy has been endorsed by both CUSU LGBT+ and the CUSU Disabled Students’ Campaign (DSC).
- Like all Welfare and Liberation Officers, LGBT+ Officers should actively express that students can speak to them about any issues and are clear about the ways in which they are able to help them, and signposting them to more qualified people in an event where they feel unable to support them;
- Event organisers2 should liaise with either the DSO (Disabled Students’ Officer) of their College, the DSC or CUSU LGBT+ to ensure that they are sensitive to issues concerning students with disabilities;
- Event organisers should provide access statements for all events they run so that disabled students/students with particular access needs are aware of whether the events are accessible to them (the DSC access statement generator can help with writing these: https://www.disabled.cusu.cam.ac.uk/resources/access-statements/), and clearly signpost these for students, as well as a contact address if students have accessibility concerns not mentioned in the statement;
- Access needs vary among disabled students, and can even be in contradiction, so event organisers should be aware that not all events can necessarily be made accessible to all students. However, event organisers should seek to balance different types of events to ensure different access needs are being equally catered for as much as possible. For example, BOPs and pre-drinks may be inaccessible to students needing alcohol-free or low-sensory events; College reps should ensure as far as possible that such events are balanced by alcohol-free and lower-sensory events, such as LGBTea, coffee meet-ups and/or discussion groups3;
- Where an access issue is raised e.g. by a student with a particular access need contacting an event organiser, they should attempt to ensure that this need is accommodated for, and should explicitly mention in access statements/event descriptions if this is not possible;
- Students can be put in contact with an LGBT+ Officer at another College, via CUSU LGBT+, should there be a problem with their own College Officer;
- At times, disabled students are more comfortable seeking support from their DSO in this light, therefore it is important that they are understanding of issues concerning the LGBT+ community and that the two officers work closely with one another. LGBT+ officers whose College CR does not include a DSO position, or where the DSO position is not part of the main CR committee (i.e. is part of a sub-committee without voting rights), should aim as far as possible to work with other officers and students to institute a DSO position, as well as working with the existing committee to support students’ access needs in the interim.
- The term “disabled students” refers in the terms understood by CUSU and by the CUSU Disabled Students’ Campaign (DSC), i.e. an inclusive definition defined by self-identification, supportive of self-diagnosis, and comprising a range of disability experiences including physical, visual, hearing, and mobility-related disability, mental health issues, chronic illness, neurodivergence (e.g. autism and ADHD), specific learning difficulties (e.g. dyslexia and dyspraxia), and more.
- “Event organisers” refers to any College LGBT+ Officer or member of CUSU LGBT+ that organises an event.
- This is, however, not an exhaustive list.