NUI Galway announced the introduction of the JAM (Just a Minute) Card© initiative for people with additional needs on campus on Friday 3 December 2021.
The University has adopted the support system and will provide staff training to assist those who may find it difficult to communicate or get overwhelmed in busy public areas.
This was done to mark International Day of Persons with Disabilities and is being led by NUI Galway’s Access Centre.
Speaking at the launch of the JAM Card© on campus, President of NUI Galway Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh said that “respect and openness are core values at NUI Galway and the adoption of the JAM Card© is symbolic of the increasing focus we place on the need to be more inclusive and go the extra mile for others.”
NUI Galway’s Student Union Disability Rights Officer Niamh McGrath has stated having the JAM Card© initiative on campus is “a fantastic idea.”
“This is going to bring confidence to the students who aren’t that confident with their disability, particularly those with communication difficulties” she added.
“It will give students that extra tool to have in their toolbox, when going around campus for when they need Just A Minute. As a JAM card user, myself, I am excited to see this brought to campus. The JAM Card, although such a small tool, is so important as it reduces anxiety going into busy commercial spaces and knowing I have that tool in my toolbox to fall back on when I get overwhelmed is so helpful.”
McGrath also added that it was great to get it launched on International Day of Persons with Disabilities in December, and “to have the President there to show his support for the JAM card and students with disabilities on campus here in NUI Galway.”
Galway East TD and Minister of State for Disability Anne Rabbitte also backs the initiative.
“I am delighted to see NUI Galway take such a proactive step to support people with disabilities and additional needs and encourage those who work and use the campus to adopt the JAM Card©”, she said.
“Ensuring that disability services are first and fore-most person-centred is a priority for Government and NUI Galway’s JAM Card© is another innovative way to improving and meet people’s needs.”
Head of the Access Centre Imelda Byrne encourages “as many staff across campus as possible to engage with the training and learn the hugely beneficial tools and confidence it provides to support those who may need “Just a Minute”.
“We hope that by adopting the JAM Card© initiative on campus we can help people and at the same time increase disability awareness, representation, and visibility across campus.”
The JAM Card © initiative was originally developed for those with learning disabilities and difficulties but can be used by anyone with a communication barrier, and are already used across Ireland in libraries, shops, and banks and on public transport.
Anytime a person needs some extra assistance or time, they can present their JAM Card ©, and they will be met by a staff member who knows to give that person some extra time.
JAM Card© was created by NOW Group, a social enterprise that supports people who, for example, have autism, acquired brain injury, a learning difficulty, or any hidden disability, which may mean that they need “Just a Minute” to allow them to complete their business.
For more information on the JAM Card© please visit https://tinyurl.com/Jamcardinfo