By Marie Coady
Muireann O’Sullivan, a final year Arts with Human Rights student, is the Students’ Union’s first Disability Rights Officer. SIN caught up with them to see what they’d done throughout the year.
“Being able to help individual disabled students or students with an ongoing health condition thrive in university has been the most rewarding for me. The fact that students come to me looking for information on supports on campus is a testament to the importance of the new role,” says Muireann.
“The general bureaucratic nature of the university structures is the worst part of the role. On the plus side, it’s a pretty great exercise in patience.”
When asked if there was anything they would have done differently, Muireann says “asked for help sooner when I got stuck on certain issues I needed to solve.”
“I work with the Disability Support Service in the University’s disability working group, and I have also met with the disability officer of the university separately to discuss how our roles can complement each other and how we could collaborate in the future.”
The Disability Officer says they have a few plans still in the works. “I have been working with the EDI Disability Working Group on improving accessibility on campus. I have some more plans and hopefully, I can figure out a way to bring these plans into fruition.”
“I think I’ve fulfilled a significant portion of my campaign promises. It’s only the start of February so I have a few months left to achieve some other goals.”
To their successor, Muireann has some advice. “You have an entire team of officers to support you as DRO. They want to help and are there for you to bounce ideas off no matter how out of the box they may be. Reach out to other unions and disability rights advocacy organisations too.”