Disability Inclusion Week 2021

photo of hands reading braille

Join us as the University of Sydney Library celebrates Disability Inclusion Week, 20 – 24 September 2021!

The theme for 2021 is Invisible Disabilities. There are 4.4 million Australians who have a disability and 90% of them have an invisible disability.

Access, inclusion and diversity are part of our core at University of Sydney Library. We’re proud to offer staff and students from all backgrounds the opportunity to get involved and build a stronger understanding of the challenges faced when living with a disability.

Here are some ways you can get involved and learn more.

Events

How invisible is an invisible disability? Myths and misconceptions from a student perspective and available support.

Tuesday 21 September, 12.30-1.30pm

In this panel discussion we will hear about the lived experiences of an invisible disability from current students, explore why invisible disabilities are often thought of as less legitimate disabilities.

Use this link to register for How invisible is an invisible disability? at eventbrite.

Deaf Communities: thriving cultures and languages

Wednesday 22 September, 1-2pm

This year Disability Inclusion Week also coincides with International Week of Deaf People. Learn more about the Deaf community as the panel discusses their cultures and languages. You will hear people sharing their lived experience, alongside those researching and working closely with Deaf communities.

Use this link to register for Deaf Communities: thriving cultures and languages at eventbrite.

Disability Inclusion Support Resources

Apps for Accessibility

On Canvas we have information and links to apps that may assist anyone who experiences difficulty with vision, hearing, reading, writing, physical dexterity, organisation and planning due to disability and temporary or situational impairments.

Use this link to visit the Apps for accessibility page on Canvas.

Clients with a Disability

Ensuring Library spaces, services and resources are easy to access for all clients is our priority. On the Library website, our Clients with disability web page is a guide to the support we provide all clients to help access resources and services needed for research and study.

Use this link to visit the Clients with disability page on the Library website.

TED talks

Tune in and learn about the perspectives of these prominent people living with disabilities:

Stella Young: I’m not your inspiration, thank you very much

Dylan Alcott: The Truth About Growing Up Disabled and Mainstreaming Disability

Jordan Raskopoulos: Living With High Functioning Anxiety

Jessica McCabe: Failing at Normal: an ADHD Success Story

Cecilia McGough: I Am Not A Monster: Schizophrenia

Kanopy

Current University of Sydney students and staff have access to the excellent streaming service Kanopy. We highly recommend the films listed below. To set up your Kanopy subscription use this link.

CODA

This critically acclaimed short film explores the challenges faced by a hearing person with deaf parents. Set in the world of competitive dance, it was produced in 2019 by the University of Southern California.

Link to the film Coda on Kanopy.

GURRUMUL

Celebrated by audiences at home and abroad, Indigenous artist Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu was one of the most important and acclaimed voices to ever come out of Australia. Blind from birth, he found purpose and meaning through songs and music inspired by his community and country on Elcho Island in far North East Arnhem Land.

Link to the film Gurrumul on Kanopy.

INTELLIGENT LIVES

This film stars three pioneering young American adults with intellectual disabilities, challenges what it means to be intelligent, and points to a future in which people of all abilities can fully participate in higher education, meaningful employment and intimate relationships.

Link to the film Intelligent Lives on Kanopy.

NORMAL PEOPLE SCARE ME TOO

A decade after the award-winning film about autism, Normal People Scare Me, Taylor Cross follows up with this sequel documentary including interviews of former and new cast members and family about attitudes and first-person perspectives/experiences in autism today.

Link to the film Normal People Scare Me Too on Kanopy.

PeerPod

Revisit Episode #15 “Disability Inclusion”. PeerPod is our bi-monthly podcast about topics relating to student life. In this episode our Peer Learning Advisors speak with Jack and Max about Disability Support Services; what they can do to assist with invisible disabilities and the positive impacts reaching out can have on your studies.

Reading List

We’re showcasing just a selection of books from our collection for Disability Inclusivity Week. Enjoy!

Transition to Retirement: a guide to inclusive practice

The Transition to Retirement (TTR) program aims to help older people with long-term disability gradually build an active and socially inclusive retirement lifestyle through volunteering and participating in mainstream community groups. Members of these groups are trained to act as mentors and provide support.

The three-year TTR research project and subsequent years of TTR service delivery have shown that this approach is feasible and has enduring positive outcomes for people with disability, mentors and community groups.

Find Transition to Retirement: a guide to inclusive practice in Library Search

book-cover-look-me-in-the-eye

Look me in the eye: my life with asperger’s

by John Elder Robison

Look me in the eye: my life with asperger’s tells of a child’s heartbreaking desperation to connect with others, and his struggle to pass as ‘normal’ – a struggle that would continue into adulthood. John Elder Robison’s memoir of growing up with Asperger’s syndrome (a form of high-functioning autism) at a time when the diagnosis didn’t even exist is both moving and blackly funny.

Along the way it also tells the story of two brothers born eight years apart yet devoted to each other: the author and his younger brother, who would grow up to become bestselling writer Augusten Burroughs and who has contributed a beautiful foreword to this book.

Find Look me in the eye: my life with asperger’s in Library Search

book-cover-The-one-and-only-Sam-a-story-explaining-idioms-for-children-with-Asperger-syndrome-or-other-communication-difficulties

The one and only Sam a story explaining idioms for children with Asperger syndrome or other communication difficulties.

Aileen Stalker

This is the story of a boy who struggles to understand non-literal expressions. Throughout the story, Sam encounters a range of common idioms, each of which is accompanied by an illustration of its literal meaning and one depicting its actual meaning, helping children to explore what the idioms sound like and why they might mean what they do.

Find The one and only Sam in Library Search

Marcelo in the real world

by Francisco X. Stork

Marcelo Sandoval, a seventeen-year-old boy on the high-functioning end of the autistic spectrum, faces new challenges, including romance and injustice, when he goes to work for his father in the mailroom of a corporate law firm.

Find Marcelo in the real world in Library Search

Dyslexics dating, marriage and parenthood

by Neil Alexander-Passe

This new and innovative book aims to investigate adult dyslexics and their long-term relationships, along with their journey through parenthood. The book begins by investigating adult dyslexics and their childhoods, looking at their emotional and behavioural coping strategies. These adults, with others from a website for adult dyslexics, look at the impact childhood trauma has on dating, then on marriage/long-term partners.

A commissioned study interviewing long-term partners of dyslexics brings new perspective to understanding how dyslexia affects relationships and how they interact as parents.

Find Dyslexics dating, marriage and parenthood in Library Search

Visions : the inspirational journeys of epilepsy advocates

by Linda Sudlesky

Visions’ contains the stories of 50 people who have answered the call to advocate on behalf of those with epilepsy. They are people with epilepsy, family members, or friends who have been motivated by their own, unique experiences to make a positive impact in the lives of people who have epilepsy.

This book empowers people affected by epilepsy and inspires continued advocacy for what has been a misunderstood and underfunded neurological disorder.

Find Visions: the inspirational journeys of epilepsy advocates in Library Search

The Successful Dyslexic Identify the Keys to Unlock Your Potential

by Neil Alexander-Passe

This innovative book looks at the keys for success in dyslexic adults, comparing both those who are successful and less successful, enabling parents and teachers to use these keys to best support young dyslexics. These keys look at home life, school, career choices, working relationships, coping strategies, traits, unique selling points, and what is considered success for somebody with dyslexia.

Find The Successful Dyslexic Identity the Keys to Unlock Your Potential in Library Search

The Paralympic Games explained

by Ian Brittain

The Paralympic Games Explained is the first complete introduction to the Paralympic phenomenon, exploring every key aspect and issue, from the history and development of the Paralympic movement to the economic and social impact of the contemporary Games. classification in disability sport.

Find The Paralymic Games explained in Library Search

Blythe Spirit

by Sandy Blythe

This autobiography tells of the author’s life before and after the car accident that left him a paraplegic. Tells of the efforts he made to cope with his injuries, his triumph in co-captaining the Australian men’s wheelchair basketball team which won the gold medal at the Atlanta Paralympics, his determination to complete a Masters degree in physical education and his work helping other victims of spinal injury.

The author runs a disability management company.

Find Blythe Spirit in Library Search

Locked In: The Will to Survive and the Resolve to Live

by Victoria Arlen

Paralympics champion and Dancing with the Stars contestant Victoria Arlen shares her courageous and miraculous story of recovery after falling into a mysterious vegetative state and how she broke free, overcoming the odds and never giving up hope, eventually living a full and inspiring life.

Find Locked In: The Will to Survive and the Resolve to Live in Library Search

The Handbook of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games

by Vassil Girginov

The Handbook of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games is the definitive, officially-licensed account of the world’s greatest sporting mega-event. It tells the complete story of the 2012 Games from inception, through the successful bidding process and the planning and preparation phase, to delivery, aftermath and legacy.

Written by a world-class team of international Olympic experts, sports researchers and writers, the book offers comprehensive analysis of the full social, cultural, political, historical, economic and sporting context of the Games. From the political, commercial and structural complexities of organizing an event on such a scale, to the sporting action that holds the attention of the world for three thrilling weeks, this book illuminates every aspect of the 2012 Games, helping us to better understand the vital role that sport and culture have in contemporary global society.

Find The Handbook of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games in Library Search

Without warning

by Damien Thomlinson

After losing both his legs in an accident in Afghanistan, Special Forces soldier Damien Thomlinson was determined not only to survive, but to meet life head on.

This is an uplifting story of guts, drive and exceptional resilience. Damien has set himself extraordinary challenges including walking the demanding 96km Kokoda Track in honour of a fallen comrade and becoming the public face of the Commando Welfare Trust.

Damien is now an aspiring Paralympian, determined to represent Australia in snowboarding.

Find Without warning in Library Search

Under the medical gaze: facts and fictions of chronic pain

by Susan Greenhalgh

This compelling account of the author’s experience with a chronic pain disorder and subsequent interaction with the American health care system goes to the heart of the workings of power and culture in the biomedical domain. It is a medical whodunit full of mysterious misdiagnosis, subtle power plays, and shrewd detective work.

Setting a new standard for the practice of autoethnography, Susan Greenhalgh presents a case study of her intense encounter with an enthusiastic young specialist who, through creative interpretation of the diagnostic criteria for a newly emerging chronic disease, became convinced she had a painful, essentially untreatable, lifelong muscle condition called fibromyalgia. Greenhalgh traces the ruinous effects of this diagnosis on her inner world, bodily health, and overall well-being.

Find Under the medical gaze: facts and fictions of chronic pain in Library Search

A Woman’s Courage : Inside Depression

by Christina Taylor

What is it like to live with depression? To feel you are in a black hole with no way to escape?

Christina Taylor presents an honest account of what it was like for her, keeping a smile on her face for the benefit of the outside world, as she battled daily with conflicting and abnormal emotions and behaviours. Finally, no longer able to keep up the facade, she attempted suicide.

Depression, once a taboo subject, is now a recognized and treatable mental illness.

Find A Woman’s Courage : Inside Depression in Library Search

Life After Darkness: A doctor’s journey through severe depression

by Cathy Wield

Life After Darkness is the remarkable and moving story of a doctor and mother of four who endured seven years of severe depression. Self-harm, attempted suicides and admissions to psychiatric units culminated in her resorting to brain surgery as a final attempt to escape her illness.

The story of Cathy Wield covers the horrors of time spent in archaic institutions and the loss of any hope, to a full recovery following surgery. Today she has returned to her career and rediscovered the joys of life and her family. This story is one of hope from an often hidden and stigmatized disease.

Find Life After Darkness: A doctor’s journey through severe depression in Library Search

Pop Culture Club

graphic for Usyd-Library-PLAs-Pop-Culture-Club

Let’s be honest: this pandemic is the worst! Everyone is stuck at home and the already challenging task of meeting new friends at uni has been taken to a Final Boss level of difficulty!

We’ve been listening to you

We know you want to meet people, so the Library’s PLA team are starting a club and membership is FREE!

Usually, we’d bring the party to you in the Library with free Coffee & Croissants, but the pandemic has forced us to stay virtual! So instead we told the Library about our brilliant idea. The conversation went something like this:

PLA team: Hey Library, we really miss hanging out with students on campus

Library: Yeah, us too

PLA team: RIGHT!? Anyway, we wanna make a club for students to meet up on Zoom

Library: Cool, a Book Club sounds gre…

PLA team: NO! Not just a Book Club! A Pop Culture Club!

Library:

PLA team: Let us explain…

What is the Pop Culture Club all about?

We’re talking movies, tv shows, books (NOT for your course), comics, manga, anime, podcasts, games, basically everything we’re doing to help pass the time in lockdown.

When are we meeting up?

On the third Tuesday of every month, in the afternoon when classes are pretty much done and you have nothing else to do, jump into a Zoom with the PLAs and other students from all over the University to talk about stuff that has nothing to do with class and everything to do with having fun.

Use this link to register and join us online, or click on the button below.

There are also zoom backgrounds to download from the registration page!

See you in the Club!

Enabling discovery: cataloguing the Library’s Rare Books and Special Collections

Sydney Digital Collections Usyd Library

In a time where Library space is at a premium and print collections are increasingly making way for digital, Rare Books and Special Collections stand out as unique points of difference within university libraries and offer a multitude of opportunities for creative and innovative educational experiences and original research.

The University of Sydney Library’s Rare and Special collections comprise manuscripts and books spanning millennia, from over 2000 B.C. to the current day, and encompassing literary, cultural, scientific, and religious thought across the globe.

Ethel M Richmond bequest

Ethel M Richmond’s generous bequest to the University Library has enabled a large-scale project to catalogue these collections, making them searchable and discoverable to researchers worldwide.

Giorgione

In 2017, a sketch of the Virgin and Child, since attributed to the Italian Renaissance artist Giorgione, was found in the back of a 15th Century edition of Dante’s Divine Comedy along with a contemporary inscription giving Giorgione’s age and the exact date of his death.

This previously unknown information allows Giorgione’s career timeline to be rewritten, and the addition of a new drawing to the small oeuvre of this enigmatic artist is of significance to art historians worldwide.

Who knows what other tantalising revelations are waiting to be revealed through this cataloguing project?

Sydney Digital Collections

In addition to cataloguing, the Library has a concurrent digitisation program that provides open access to high quality digital versions of significant historical and cultural treasures, via Sydney Digital Collections.

Lockdown Discoveries Series

Lockdown Discoveries is a series of blog posts and an exhibition created and curated by the Rare Books & Special Collections Cataloguing Project Team to highlight some of the weird and wonderful items they discovered whilst working from home during the 2020 Covid-19 Lockdown.

The exhibition showcases highlights from the Graham Science Fiction collection, handpicked and curated by the RBSC Cataloguing Project Team. The exhibition has been temporarily paused for the 2021 stay at home orders and will reopen when it is safe to open the Rare Book reading rooms once more.

Explore the links below to learn more about the cataloguing project, the discoveries and resulting exhibition.

Lockdown Discoveries: Part 1

Lockdown Discoveries: Part 2

Lockdown Discoveries: Part 3

Cataloguing the Graham Science Fiction Collection

Lockdown Discoveries Exhibition

Palm Leaf Manuscript

R U OK? Day

R U OK? Day graphic
R U OK? Day graphic

This Thursday, 9 September is R U OK? Day. It’s a national day of action, to remind ourselves that every day is the day to ask, “are you OK?” if someone in your world is struggling with life’s ups and downs.

This year it’s more important than ever to check in with our friends and colleagues. There are some great activities you can join in through the University and lots of online resources to help you have those conversations with people around you.

Speed Meet and Chat

Friday 10 September 2:00 – 3:00pm

One of the toughest things about studying remotely during the pandemic is how hard it is to meet new friends!

For R U OK? Day the Library is hosting a special edition of our excellent socialising event Speed Meet and Chat!

Register here to join the fun!

Virtual Dance Workout Session

Thursday 9 September 9:00 – 9:30am

As an educator, Dr Ehssan Sakhaee focuses on balancing engagement and performance with overall wellbeing. Start the day by joining Dr Sakhaee for a 30-minute virtual dance workout. You’ll need a space of at least 2m squared.

Dr Sakhaee also runs regular online meditations.

For more information and to register for the Zoom event use this link.

R U OK? Day ‘lunch’ webinar

Thursday 9 September 12:30 – 1:30pm

Join the hosts and guest speakers in this online event to learn when and how to ask R U OK?, so you can have a conversation that could change a life.

You might laugh, you might cry but most importantly you’ll feel empowered because asking, “Are you OK?” when someone’s struggling with something big, something small, or nothing at all, shows them you care.

To register for the Eventbrite event use this link. If you can’t attend you’re encouraged to register and receive a recording of the event.

R U OK? Day x Ther-E-Paws

Thursday 9 September 4pm

Having ruff time? Need some paws-itivity? Join FASS Student Representatives and staff for Ther-E-Paws, an online therapy dog event discussing mental health and wellbeing.

Come along to de-stress, have discussions about mental health, meet our esteemed furry and four-legged guests, and introduce us to your own pets!

To register for the Eventbrite event use this link.

The R U OK? Day official website guides you through the steps you can take in starting a conversation and then how you can respond if that person needs help. There are also Zoom backgrounds and posters to download.

Respecting Custodianship

Australian landscape featuring beautiful clouds

by Dr Antonia Mocatta

The University of Sydney Library exists on unceded Aboriginal lands. To demonstrate commitment to fostering an environment of respect and truth telling, the Library and its staff acknowledge and respect the ongoing connection Aboriginal peoples have to these lands, and the knowledge and practices that have allowed these lands to be holistically and sustainably maintained.

We are committed to embedding culturally competent practices across our Library services, collections and spaces. The following article is a guide for those who would like to understand more about the cultural context around the tradition of acknowledging Country, and to build confidence in presenting an Acknowledgement in a culturally competent way.

The Differences Between a ‘Welcome to Country’ & an ‘Acknowledgement of Country’

What is a Welcome to Country?

For thousands of years, protocols have existed in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture for welcoming visitors to Country. Permission needed to be requested and granted for visitors to enter Country belonging to another group. Once permission was granted, the host group would welcome their visitors and offer them spiritual protection and safe passage during their time on Country.

Today, this tradition is continued in a symbolic way though the Welcome to Country ceremony that usually occurs before the start of a formal event. This can take several forms including speech, singing, dancing and smoking ceremonies.  A Welcome to Country is usually delivered by the Traditional Owners of Country, and typically by a prominent member of that community or an Elder who has the authority and knowledge to deliver a Welcome.

What is an Acknowledgement of Country?

An Acknowledgement of Country can be delivered by non-Indigenous people or Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who are not in a position to deliver a Welcome to Country. Delivering an Acknowledgement provides anyone the opportunity to show their awareness of respect for the Traditional Owners of the land they are on, and their continuing relationship with that land.

When Should a Spoken Acknowledgement of Country be Delivered?

An Acknowledgement of Country can be delivered before meetings, gatherings or events even if the content of the proceeding event does not relate to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture or history. An Acknowledgement of Country can be delivered by anyone, Indigenous or non-Indigenous.

What Should be Included in an Acknowledgement of Country?

There is no set script for an Acknowledgement of Country.

In formal meetings or when you are unsure what to say when delivering an Acknowledgement, you may opt to use the University of Sydney’s official Acknowledgement (below).

Before we begin the proceedings, I would like to acknowledge and pay respect to the traditional owners of the land on which we meet: the Gadigal* people of the Eora* Nation. It is upon their ancestral lands that the University of Sydney is built.

As we share our own knowledge, teaching, learning and research practices within this university may we also pay respect to the knowledge embedded forever within the Aboriginal Custodianship of Country.

*The Gadigal people of the Eora Nation are the traditional owners of the lands in Sydney, including the Camperdown campus. Find out and use the name of the people and Nation of the land that you are on.

In less formal settings such as internal meetings or gatherings, as a demonstration of respect, you should personalise your Acknowledgement and share what it means to you to work on Country. Doing this can demonstrate your genuine respect for Country.

Before delivering any Acknowledgement, you should learn what Country you are on, who its Traditional Custodians are, and how to pronounce the name of their community, and the historical context for the area (refer to the AIATSIS map).

Consider including the following elements when preparing a personalised Acknowledgement of Country:

  • Name and acknowledge the nation, people, or language group of the land you are on (refer to the AIATSIS map)
  • Refer to particular aspects of Country in the area – are you in the desert, on an island or there any local sacred or historical sites
  • Identify the continuing connection of the Traditional Owners to that land
  • Recognise that First Nations sovereignty was never ceded
  • Pay respects to their Elders and any First Nations people present
  • Thank them for caring for Country over thousands of generations
  • Talk about what it means to you to be on Country.

You may wish to deliver an Acknowledgement in Gadigal language.  For guidance on content and pronunciation you can watch the video below in which Professor Jakelin Troy shares with Dr Rosemary Grey how we can acknowledge Country in Gadi language.

Visit our collections

To celebrate NAIDOC week 2021, the University of Sydney Library showcased items from the collection that have been published by Sydney University Press, focusing on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and cultural heritage. Read the article here.

To mark National Reconciliation Week 2021, and the nearly three decades of Australia’s formal reconciliation process, the University of Sydney Library featured highlights from the collection by First Nations authors. These can be found through Library search either online, in our physical collection or at the Wingara Mura Research Centre.
Read the article here.

Tell us what you think

image of Library website feedback module

We’re working to improve the library website and need your opinion. You may notice little messages asking for your feedback on some pages of the Library website. If you can, we’d love for you to take a moment to tell us what you think.

Letting us know what you like or don’t like about the website and sharing your ideas for how we can make it better will have a direct impact on the improvements we make in the future.

There’s no need to wait for a little feedback message to appear, you can send us feedback at any time about the Library or our website using our suggestions and feedback form.

We look forward to hearing from you soon and are excited to keep making the Library website even better for you.