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Jazz hands to replace clapping as student union bids to boost inclusion

Hands 02-10-18 (Photo John Bugeja) Minister for Health Neil Costa and Lions Club Gib President Mr Durante unveils plaque

By Nina Massey, Press Association Education Correspondent

Clapping has been banned by one student union keen to be more inclusive towards those with anxiety or sensory issues.

Jazz hands will replace clapping, whooping, and cheering at the University of Manchester student union events.

At its first union meeting of the year, it was argued that the traditional loud noise should be replaced by the more inclusive form of expression - British Sign Language (BSL) clapping.

According to the student newspaper, Mancunion: "It resolved to swap out audible clapping for BSL clapping at SU events, and to encourage student groups and societies to do the same, and to include BSL clapping as a part of inclusion training."

The motion was authored by liberation and access officer Sara Khan, and received little opposition from the senate.

The National Union of Students (NUS) has been encouraging the use of BSL clapping since 2015.

An NUS spokeswoman said: "The hand gesture referred to as 'jazz hands' is the British Sign Language vocabulary for applause. This is designed to support those with disabilities and/or sensory conditions to participate in events.

"Students' unions strive to make their events welcoming to all of their students by acknowledging their experiences and responding to their needs.

"We should all aspire to improve our public spaces so that all members of society feel comfortable and able to contribute fully."

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