News & Politics

UK Student Group: Ban Cheering, Clapping So Deaf Are Not Excluded

It should be a good thing when students want to make sure kids never feel left out. However, when students decide audible communication excludes the deaf and try to ban it, then it’s time for some remedial learning:

Students who whoop, cheer and clap should face “consequences” because they are excluding deaf people, delegates at the National Union of Students conference said.

Audience members were repeatedly warned that they must cease whooping to express support for a speaker, because it has a “serious impact” on the accessibility of the conference.

Delegates at the NUS annual conference in Brighton were encouraged to use “jazz hands” instead of clapping — where students wave their hands in the air — as this is deemed a more inclusive form of expression.

Estelle Hart, an NUS elections committee member who was chairing a session on Thursday, told students: “No whooping, it does have a serious impact on some delegates ability to access conference.”

No, it doesn’t.

And do note that Ms. Hart was, you know, speaking:

The Durham University student union proposed a motion at the conference that would see clapping and whooping banned at all future NUS events.

The motion noted that “access needs of disabled students are disregarded/overlooked in terms of conference member behaviour and NUS structures” adding that this can lead to the “safety and wellbeing” of disabled students being compromised.

The motion calls for “reduced cheering or unnecessary loud noises on conference floor, including whooping and clapping” and warns of “consequences for those who ignore this requirement”. In the past, NUS events have banned clapping on the grounds that it might “trigger anxiety”.

The Durham University student union should be ashamed. The deaf are not so psychologically fragile that they require your protection. To believe that a deaf person can’t make it through the day without being catered to like this is to believe they’re not functional adults, and that’s disgusting.

The vast majority of deaf people are able to adjust to a world they can’t hear, and they don’t need spoiled college kids to save them from it. In fact, the worst thing the NUS can do for their fellow students is let them believe the world is required to bend to anyone’s whim.