Disability Wales EQuip Case Study: Haris
EQuip Project Officer: Leandra Craine
Disability Wales (DW) is the national association of Disabled People’s Organisations (DPOs) striving to achieve the rights and equality of disabled people in Wales.
DW promotes the adoption and implementation of the Social Model of Disability, which identifies that it is environmental, organisational, and attitudinal barriers that disable people and prevent their full participation in society not their medical conditions or impairments.
Disability Wales’s EQuip project organised work experience placements for young, disabled university students with DPOs across Wales and acted as a host institution so DPOs did not have to allocate too many resources for supervision.
In this project, students were also equipped with information on the social model of disability and their rights within Wales to help further their knowledge and improve their ability to advocate for themselves.
I joined a project that involved managing the Instagram page for a charity called See Around Britain. I also created venue descriptions and photographs for their website.
Due to the volunteering being remote in nature it was accessible for me to contribute to See Around Britain’s mission of providing accessibility information for people who wanted to travel. I would fit volunteering around my studies and take photographs when on walks or trips. I would create Instagram stories for events or special days and write up venue descriptions for places I went to.
Many locations needed updating and this was my first challenge. Some needed new pictures whilst others needed new addresses. I had to compare and consult different websites to find the right address which paid off when updating the descriptions.
My second challenge was managing Instagram. Management was a new role for me, and I had to self learn many aspects of social media campaigning and marketing. I decided to post some of the pictures from the website to reinforce the brand identity of See Around Britain. Which later led to a colour scheme being established.
The main aim of volunteering was to challenge the status quo regarding the social model of disability. By volunteering with See Around Britain I was learning how to advocate for my rights as a disabled person regarding social and work life.
What I also learned from volunteering was that the medias image of disabled people impacts how places cater to disabled peoples needs. Which was what See Around Britain was challenging by providing accessibility information via an app the person is able to plan their visits according to their needs. Along with knowing which places can’t cater to them.
“Many workplaces, leisure activities and heritage site’s facilities are created with an image in mind which excludes disabled people. Volunteering has taught me that a few hours a week can have a huge impact on social change. The remote caters to many disabilities by indiscriminately bringing work to the individual.”