Events to celebrate disability provision at Kent

Katherine Moss

Kent has a proud and continued commitment to disability provision. This includes appointing the University’s first disability adviser in 1979, to wining the Times Higher for Student Support work (OPERA Project) in 2018 and its recent partnership with SignLive, making Kent the only university in England to help British Sign Language users communicate more effectively.

To celebrate this and as part of Disability History Month, the University is hosting an accessible exhibition and film screening, showcasing stories from Kent’s past and present, on Tuesday 6 December. The event will have pre-recorded British Sign Language for all spoken introductions and all films, as well as captions.  Every exhibition piece will have audio description accessible via QR codes.  The exhibition takes place on the ground floor and the space has been organised for maximum accessibility for all attendees.

Georgina Randsley de Moura, Deputy Vice-Chancellor for Academic Strategy, Planning and Performance and EDI Champion says: ‘At Kent, we recognise the importance of both the large-scale strategic actions and the power of thousands of community members making small incremental changes in attitudes, behaviour and actions. This exhibition is a celebration of all we have achieved – from policies and processes to the quests of inspirational individuals. But is also serves as a reminder and motivation for what else we can do in the future to help make Kent, and the wider community, more inclusive for everyone.’

The exhibition in the Marlowe building is open to the public from 5pm, with the films starting in the Marlowe Lecture Theatre at 6pm. The films last a few minutes each, with the whole series shown in 30 minutes, and feature current and past students and staff on their experiences of disability, what they wish people understood and how we can contribute to making society more accessible and inclusive.

The event will be attended by two inspirational Kent graduates, who have championed disability rights and inspired many:

Kush Kanodi. A former Kent Business School Management Science and MBA student who was recently awarded an honorary Doctorate of Science, Kush left a lucrative career in merchant banking for life as a social entrepreneur, creating systemic change in major organisations including NHS England and the Premier League. In 2018 he was recognised as in the top 10 most influential BAME leaders in technology and in 2019 was named second most influential disabled person in the UK.

Millie Knight. A recent graduate, Millie is a four times Paralympic medallist, three times Paralympian and two times world champion. To add to this impressive list of achievements, she is also National and Commonwealth Karate Champion. Millie has just graduated with a Psychology degree at Kent and received an honorary doctorate in 2017. Visually impaired from a young age, Millie has recently given a number of inspirational talks on her journey to success.