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Economics students and staff participate in Wear My Shoes: Sensory Awareness Workshop

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Economics students and staff participate in Wear My Shoes: Sensory Awareness Workshop

Last week, a group of students and staff from the Department of Economics participated in a sensory awareness workshop to gain insights into what it feels like to have a disability.

Dr Juliana Carneiro, the Department’s Disability Coordinator and organiser of the workshop, gave an introduction about the importance of awareness of sensory perception and neurodiversity in our learning and working communities. She said:

“Being aware of how disabled people experience the world gives us a valuable insight into issues related to diversity within our society; it teaches us empathy, encourages inclusivity and helps us build a supportive environment for all members of our community. It is also a soft skill recognised and highly valued by employers in the job market.”

Several speakers were invited to contribute to the topic or tell their story of sensory perception, including:

  • Dr Damien Homer, Head of Disability Services who talked about different types of assistance available to Warwick’s students.
  • Diana Shore, Assistant Professor, WMG - shared her own experience as a person with a disability which is not always visible to those around her. Diana invited the audience to participate in a role play: Juliana interviewed Diana while fidgeting and making noises, to show the audience the challenges a person with hearing impairment must overcome.
  • Nivaria Morales Salas, IT Developer in the Department of Economics, explained in her talk about different categories of visual impairment and shared her own experience as a person with disability.
  • Martyn Parker, Community Engagement Officer for Warwickshire Vision came with his guide dog Harper who stole the limelight! Martyn shared his experience of visual impairment and interacted with students walking them through obstacles while they were wearing an eye band.

The participants engaged with a number of other hands-on activities to have a taste of the diversity of sensory perception experienced by people within our community, including the use of a wheelchair.

Nivaria Morales Salas commented about the event:

“It’s great to see events like this being organised on campus. They raise awareness of the reality of living with a disability as well as showing that disabled people make a positive contribution to society despite facing daily challenges.”

Economics student
Kush Majithia
trying one of
the activities

More than 20 students and 6 members of staff benefitted from attending the event, fully engaging in the activities and role play and raising their knowledge and understanding of studying, working, and living with diverse people.

Dr Carneiro wishes to thank her colleagues who supported her in organising the event: Claire Johnson, Student Engagement and Experience Coordinator and Tina MacSkimming, Student Support and Progression Officer from the Department of Economics.

Dr Carneiro is also grateful to the sponsors of the event - Professor Rebecca Freeman, Director of the Dean of Student Office, and Professor Lorenzo Frigerio, Pro-Vice Chancellor (Education) - for their support of the Department's Inclusive Education Action Plan.

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