top of page
  • Writer's pictureThe Gaudie

Open Letter to NUS UK on Accessibility

Updated: Apr 9

Putting accessibilty at the heart of NUS

Delegates during plenary at NUS Scotland conference 2024
Photo Credit: Friday Oshiotse

We, the undersigned, recognise that the National Union of Students must do more to support its delegates with disabilities. Therefore, we urge the Democratic Procedures Committee of NUS to allow the Emergency Accessibility Policy to be heard at the NUS National Conference in 2024.

Dear NUS UK,


We hope this letter finds you well.


We recently learned that disabled delegates encounter barriers to equal access at NUS National events. As an organisation committed to advocating for the rights and inclusion of all students, we find this deeply concerning.


We commend NUS National for its dedication to representing students across the country. However, it has become apparent that significant accessibility issues are hindering the full realisation of this commitment. Despite the shared core value of inclusivity, disabled students are not receiving the necessary accommodations to participate fully in your events.


The primary concern revolves around the lack of accessibility measures, particularly the absence of interpreters for deaf students upon their request. This failure to accommodate violates the Equality Act 2010 and effectively excludes deaf students from fully engaging in these events.


Disabled delegates play integral roles in representing their respective institutions through their student unions. Thus, ensuring that these representatives are accommodated at all NUS National events is imperative. Without adequate support, these student representatives feel marginalised and unable to fulfil their roles effectively.


Furthermore, the lack of alternative accommodations for deaf students exacerbates the issue. Measures such as recording events with subtitles or facilitating virtual attendance through platforms like Teams could provide equal access to resources for all students.


We are also concerned about the short notice given to disabled students regarding the lack of accommodations, leading to unnecessary stress and uncertainty. Additionally, expecting disabled students to cover their expenses for accommodations during a challenging financial period is unjust and adds further strain.


Regarding the delayed provision of allergy information at the NUS Scotland Conference this year, while we acknowledge the prompt resolution of the issue, it should not have occurred in the first place. Providing allergy information is standard practice and crucial for ensuring all attendees' health and safety.


At the upcoming NUS National events, we fully support the Emergency Accessibility policy, which addresses accessibility issues faced by disabled delegates and representatives and how NUS can better support those attending their future conferences. 


In summary, the unequal treatment of disabled delegates at NUS National events must be addressed immediately. Everyone deserves equal access to opportunities, as the Equality Act 2010 mandates. Ignoring the needs of disabled students contradicts the inclusive support that NUS National aims to provide to all students across the country.


We urge NUS National to take proactive steps to rectify these accessibility issues and ensure that all events are inclusive and accessible to disabled students. By doing so, we can uphold equality and inclusion values central to our collective mission.


Thank you for your attention to this matter. We look forward to your prompt action and commitment to improving accessibility for all students.



Please reigster your support by signing the open letter

Kirsten Koss, student at the University of Aberdeen, and delegate to the NUS National Conference 2024 & 2022 and NUS Scotland Conference 2022

Finn Abou El Magd, LLMVC Convener at the University of Aberdeen and delegate to NUS Scotland Conference 2024

Ciara McCarthy, Vice President of Diversity and Wellbeing at the City of Glasgow College Students Association 

Howl Baer, Co-President of Bath Spa SU Disabled Students' Network and delegate to NUS National Conference 2023 & 2024 and NUS Liberation Conference 2024

Elana Durston, Bath Spa University 

Jessica Graham, Bath Spa University, Disabled Student Network Well-being Officer 23/24

Jamie Pankhurst, Bath Spa University 

Olivia Wrightson, University of Winchester, Student Union Officer-elect

Anna Gowman, University of Winchester

Rosie Slingo, University of Winchester

Eli Raeburn, Bath Spa University

Faith Futcher, Bath Spa University

Rachel Poole, Secretary of Disabled Students' Society 2022-23 and 2023-24 and Incoming Vice-President of Wellbeing 2024-25 at Heriot-Watt University, delegate to NUS Scotland and NUS Liberation Conferences 2024

Solomon Frogge, Bath Spa University

Bethany Gee, Bath Spa University Graduate 

Jorik Mol, DSA-funded mentor (Autism), Facilitator Autistic Wellbeing Group, Bath Spa University

Edward Maxfield, Huddersfield Students Union Disabled Students Network Lead, NUS Liberation Conference 2023 and 2024

Huddersfield Disabled Students Society Committee.

Ben Hooper, Bath Spa University 


Acacia Radcliff, student at the University of Huddersfield

Xavier Powley, Undeb Aberystwyth Disabled Students Officer

Elio Wilson, Bath Spa University 

Maximilian Szyja, Bath Spa University

Rowan Miller Murphy, University of Aberdeen

Jessica Watson,  Chair UoM Disabled Students Society and MMU Rep disabled Students NFP

University of Manchester’s Feminist Collective

Fred Byrne, DHPA Convener at the University of Aberdeen, NUS Scotland Delegate 2024

Wamick Aijaz, Equalities Officer at Huddersfield University Students’ Union

Miles Rothoerl, Vice-Chair for Undergraduate Education, Aberdeen University Students’ Association

Lauren Gilbert, previous Disability Officer at Newcastle University Students Union, NUS National Conference delegate 2023

Kaitlin Agius, Vice-Chair for Welfare, Aberdeen University Students’ Association, NUS Scotland Delegate 2024

Carrie Beaton, Regional President of North East Scotland College Students' Association, NUS Scotland Delegate 2024

Molly Salter, NHS Co-production champion, NUS National Conference delegate 2022

Dr Yasmin Lazarus, graduate of University of Birmingham (BSc 2016), University College London (MSc 2017) and The Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust (Doctorate 2022)

André Justin ​Carpi​o, School of Medicine Convener at the University of Aberdeen

William Campbell, Highlands and Islands Students’ Association, NUS Scotland Delegate 2024

Lucy Jackson, University of Edinburgh

Tom Fraser, Bath Spa University

Diana Sirnikova, University of Huddersfield SU Education Officer

Chloe Tennison, University of Huddersfield

Rhiannon Ledwell

Vice President for Education

Aberdeen University Students’ Association

Hannah Kelly

University of Aberdeen

Christina Schmid, Student President-elect

Aberdeen University Students’ Association

Oluwatoyin Bolajoko, Student President of Education & Welfare

Robert Gordon University

Rohith Narayan, University of Huddersfield Students Union, Activities Officer

Brónach Nova-Ó’Connell, Equality Champion for Disabilities and Inclusion & Co-president of the Disability and Inclusion Network, Robert Gordon University

Emma Marshall, Equality Champion for Disabilities and Inclusion & Co-president of the Disability and Inclusion Network, Robert Gordon University 

Daniel Hammond, Vice-president if the Disability and Inclusion Network, Robert Gordon University 

Kelsi Butcher, Vice-president if the Disability and Inclusion Network, Robert Gordon University 

Charlotte Gorrie, University of Aberdeen

Kirsty Miller, University of Aberdeen 


bottom of page