Paralympic gold medallist Jacqueline Freney will be guest of honour at Come as U Are, Southern Cross University’s celebration of the accomplishments of people with a disability on Monday, December 3.
The inaugural Come as U Are event, to be held at the Lismore campus, coincides with the International Day of People with Disability.
Federal member for Page Janelle Saffin will use the occasion to speak about the federal government’s National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). The NDIS Bill will be introduced into Parliament this week.
The University’s pro-vice-chancellor (academic) Professor Andrew McAuley said gaining a university degree can enable students to realise their potential.
‘At Southern Cross University we are working hard to embrace the diversity of our students. We want to build an inclusive University where high academic achievement is the focus, regardless of disability.
‘Thanks to the London Paralympic Games, 2012 has been a terrific year for drawing attention to positive images of people with disability, including local sportswoman Jacqueline Freney. We are pleased to be marking the International Day of People with Disability in what I hope will become an annual event.’
Along with special guests Ms Saffin and Ms Freney, Come as U Are features musical performances and an exhibition of local disability support and advocacy organisations. The event is wheelchair accessible with Auslan interpreters. The community is welcome to attend.
Dr Jonathan Munro, senior manager, Student Health Services, said the University was thrilled to welcome Jacqueline Freney to speak about her inspirational achievements in London and back home where she was recently crowned Australian Paralympian of the Year and NSW Female Athlete of the Year.
Professor McAuley said for students with a disability there were perceived barriers to study.
‘An event like Come as U Are can assist in breaking down those barriers so that students with disability see that University may well be a choice for them and there are services available to help them succeed.’
This year is the 20th anniversary of International Day of People with Disability, a United Nations sanctioned day that aims to promote an understanding of people with disability and encourage support for their dignity, rights and wellbeing. The day seeks to increase awareness of the benefits of the integration of people with disability in every aspect of political, social, economic and cultural life.
Come as U Are , Monday December 3, 12–1.30pm, Goodman Plaza, SCU Lismore Campus. Free.