My name is Beth Hughes, I’m the vice president of Devability and I would first like to say welcome to the page! Just a bit of history to catch you up to speed with this society, individuals across the University came together to create this support network for students who live with an invisible or visible disability with the inclusion of carers. We had a rocky start and took us longer than expected to fully get going. Committee members have changed, no one had the experience before and in all honesty at times it looked like there wasn’t going to be a society. But like all good underdog stories go we banded together and got the ball moving.
Some information on me is that I have heard number of invisible disabilities that affect me in a number of different ways, and to the outside world they would never have a clue. My ever expanding list of things wrong with me starts with depression. I suffer with this for a number of years and whoever else has this knows how isolating and soul crushing it can be when it takes hold of you. Next is widespread chronic pain, this is less known about bold arguably my hardest condition to keep control of. There are some days where the prospect of leaving my bed is the equivalent to me scaling Everest. Quite honestly impossible. The 3rd to join the list is arthritis; to be honest I’m still trying to get my head around the fact that at aged 21 I have a disability that is widely known as pensioner’s condition. My very first diagnosis of an invisible disability is dyslexia; those who have this understand the sometime social implications of writing on a different coloured book, overlays for days and sounding everything out phonetically then remembering the English language was created unnecessarily hard. The cherry on my not so fun cake is anxiety. This affects me in such weird ways and if you have it you understand, some days you can wake up and it’s as if the whole world is against you. This is why I am so passionate to prevent students from feeling alone, because I and this society’s member understand what it can be like to live with invisible and visible disabilities.
Now that you know more about, let me tell you about where this society can go. We as a committee have networked with a number of other societies that have links such as members having social anxiety, emotional and mental scars from bullying and depression. We have this opportunity to connect and support each other through what arguably is the most stressful but amazing time, Uni. We have the opportunity to raise awareness, to lose the stigma that once shrouded mental illness from the public’s consciousness, to create a community of students who understand the struggles, who fully acknowledges the extent of disabilities may affect your lives. No student, no person should have to struggle alone.
The reason I believe you should join the society is because a lot of people say they understand what you’re going through and in their eyes they do, but in reality they don’t have a clue. we understand bad days where you can’t get out of bed, with the mental and physical pain is just too much that day or simply just out the zone. This society is for everyone whose life is affected from low to severe by some sort of disability. For a range of disabilities could be dyspraxia, wheelchair-bound, autism, anxiety, Asperger’s, hard of hearing, epilepsy, social anxiety, and just plain old feeling low.
Please if any of this relates to you contact us, come join us for a cuppa and a moan or a drink and dance.
VP of Dev