University bans clapping, suggests students use 'jazz hands' instead

Manchester student union said that it wanted to accommodate those with anxiety or sensory issues

Clapping has been banned by a student union in an move to be more inclusive towards those with anxiety or sensory issues.

At the union's first meeting of the year, Sara Khan, who is Manchester University's liberation and access officer, argued that traditional applause was not sufficiently "accessible".

"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 student paper reads.

The National Union of Students Women's Campaign announced the ban at their 2015 conference after some people complained that the clapping noise was triggering them.

Student representatives at the university voted to replace the noisier clapping, cheering and whooping commonly used to show appreciation at social gatherings with the British Sign Language (BSL) version of clapping - which entails waving both hands simultaneously.

"If you're happy and you know it and you want to clap your hands, be careful - it may trigger anxiety".

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In this undated stock photo shows jazz hands with palms toward the audience and fingers splayed.

"There's so little that's done on university campuses to recognize the diversity of the student body in terms of disability", Titchkosky told Global News.

"We should all aspire to improve our public spaces so that all members of society feel comfortable and able to contribute fully". He tweeted, "Not cool, University of Manchester".

In a statement, the University of Manchester Students' Union said that they are not outright banning audible clapping at all school events, and are instead encouraging "the use of British Sign Language (BSL) clapping during our democratic events". "It's more "encourage". There are no penalties for people using traditional clapping", she said.

"Hand waving might cause sensory overload for people with visual sensitivity", she said.

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