Trinity Disability Services is seeking to rename itself amid concern that students feel “uncomfortable” entering the service under its current name.
In an email to staff and students this afternoon, the Disability Service invited responses to a poll with options for the service’s new name. Potential new names include the Trinity Ability Hub, Trinity Disability Support Centre, Trinity Inclusion Centre and Trinity Reasonable Accommodation Centre, among an option to retain its current name.
The rename comes following reports that some students felt “uncomfortable entering the Disability Service” leading the service to not advertise the “Disability Service” at its location in Room 2054 of the Arts Building.
Speaking to Trinity News, Trinity College Dublin Students’ Union (TCDSU) Officer for Students with Disabilities and President-elect Laura Beston said: “A new name will help students feel more comfortable using the service as well as making them know that this is their space and something to be proud of.”
Trinity Disability Service is to relocate to Printing House Square (PHS) later this year as part of a drive to improve inclusive service provision in Trinity. The redeveloped building, designed by architect McCullough Mulvin, is located on Pearse Street, with the hope that the central location will transform the Disability Service into a “dynamic hub of student activity”.
The mission of the Disability Service is to “empower students and staff with disabilities to achieve their potential”. According to the Director of the Service, Declan Treanor, the new space aims “to provide a platform for innovation and inclusion” by directly engaging with students.
The new Disability Service in PHS will cover two floors in the centre of three accomodation blocks. The first floor will contain two offices whilst the open-plan lower floor will house six meeting rooms. Additional PHS amenities will include 248 student residential rooms, new sports facilities including a rifle range and squash and badminton courts, and a new Health Centre.
Beston explained that “having a specific space will help more students access the service and registration will hopefully increase and become less of an issue”.
She commended the service for wanting “students to have a say in naming the service” and “promising to let the disability committee use meeting rooms to plan events and campaigns for students with disabilities”.
Treanor outlined that College is “fully committed to the social model of disability, which is a useful tool for explaining the challenges presented to people with disabilities by their external environment, as well as a practical strategy for developing inclusive service provision in Trinity”.
In 2018, Trinity College Dublin Students’ Union (TCDSU) voted to introduce a committee for students with disabilities, comprising an Off-Campus officer, Societies Liaison Officer, and two Ordinary Committee Members alongside the TCDSU Officer for Students with Disabilities.