#PurpleLightUp

December 3rd is the UN’s International Day of Disabled People. To celebrate this significant day, we have partnered with PurpleSpace to mark the occasion with #PurpleLightUp, a vibrant global movement using the colour purple, which is emblematic of disability, celebrates and draws attention to the economic contribution of the 386 million Disabled employees around the world, and we’re inviting you and your organisation to take part.

Why join in?

Taking part in #PurpleLightUp gives you and your organisation the opportunity to:

  1. Jointly celebrate ‘purple talent’ and human potential.
  2. Show commitment to disability inclusion and accessibility.
  3. Raise the profile of your staff networks and the work that they’re doing.

Taking part is easy. From sharing the #PurpleLightUp hashtag, to lighting up your organisation in purple, there are countless ways to mark the occasion. Perhaps highlight the achievements of Disabled role models in your organisation, or join us as we take part in PurpleSpace’s 24-hour #PurpleLightUp global broadcast, or share some of the successes of your staff networks on social media, or explore any of the other great ideas listed in the official #PurpleLightUp booklet. Whatever you do, let’s make sure we shine a (purple) light on the value of Disabled employees and everything we’ve achieved.

We are stronger when we work together.

NADSN is proud to be supporting PurpleSpace in this great initiative. We’ve seen first-hand the power of staff networks to create meaningful change for Disabled employees as we work towards inclusion and accessibility in all areas of life. The hard work and dedication of our networks should not go unnoticed. So, let’s come together to celebrate all that’s been achieved and make our contributions visible all over the world.

And don’t forget, NADSN is also on hand to offer advice and support for starting or growing your staff network as you move from strength to strength in ensuring inclusion for Disabled people in your organisation. We are stronger when we work together. So, let’s do this!

Download this post as a doc or PDF and share with your networks!

NADSN Black Lives Matter Statement

The tragic killing of George Floyd and others in the USA[1] along with the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement serves to remind us that there are continued inequalities and fundamental differences that exist within our society.  Differences which are not acceptable.

The National Association of Disabled Staff Networks (NADSN) stands in solidarity with the BLM movement in speaking out against racial injustices and inequalities faced by our communities in the UK and beyond[2].

The pandemic has served to highlight further racial disparities in the UK. Death rates from COVID-19 were higher for Black and Asian ethnic groups when compared to White ethnic groups. This disproportionate impact is multiplied for Disabled Black and Asian people. The Public Health England Report found that structural racism plays a part.

“Together We Can – and Will – Transform”.[3]

Our purpose as a super-network remains vital.  As members, we seek to inspire support and success.  As a community, we share our opinions, values, culture and best practice and deepen our understanding of each other, our world and how we can have a positive impact. At this challenging time, we urge all our members to look out for each other and empower one another. When we work in collaboration, we can achieve great change.

Ableism Has Much in Common with Racism.

We understand that ableism and racism are not equivalent.  However, the experiences of ethnic minorities and Disabled people have some similarities. Disabled people regularly face systemic and institutional discrimination within society, education, work, and healthcare settings. We have been pitied, abused, excluded, stereotyped and met with disdain and platitudes. Disabled people have been underrepresented and misrepresented in entertainment and media. Our narratives and achievements have been appropriated and used as inspiration for non-disabled people. These forms of barriers are compounded for Disabled people from ethnic minority backgrounds, particularly those of us with a mental health condition or those of us who are neurodiverse.

Our Work.

Throughout our work, we strive to embed an intersectional understanding and approach. In 2019, we co-hosted a National Intersectionality Conference with the LGBT+ Network of Networks in Higher Education. We also appointed an Intersectionality Lead and two Intersectionality Partners onto our diverse Steering Committee. We will continue to work to better understand the inequalities and barriers Disabled people from ethnic minorities face and work to challenge and combat these. We will continue to work in partnership to support all members of our community, as well as seeking to set an example for others.

We strive to be a part of the solution.


[1] The wave of protests in the USA over the killing of George Floyd are the outbursts of anger and injustice that have erupted after the deaths of many other black Americans whilst in police custody. Data: US ‘Mapping Police Violence’ – https://mappingpoliceviolence.org/ and in the UK since 1990, 184 people from ethnic minorities have died as a result of police actions (20 due to police shootings and 164 in custody).  https://www.inquest.org.uk/bame-deaths-in-police-custody

[2]Many of the Black people killed by police are disabled. Inquest notes that ethnic minorities were twice as likely to die after restraint or use of force, and twice as likely to die if they had a mental health condition. https://rudermanfoundation.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/MediaStudy-PoliceDisability_final-final.pdf

[3] Slogan: “Together we can – and will – transform” – https://blacklivesmatter.com/


This paper is also available as a Word docx and PDF.


For Further Details

Email: uk.nadsn@gmail.com | Twitter: @nadsn_uk | Facebook: NatAssDSN | Web: nadsn-uk.org

COVID Post-Lockdown: Perspectives, Implications and Strategies for Disabled Staff – NADSN’s Position Paper

PRESS RELEASE

The National Association of Disabled Staff Networks (NADSN) is a super-network that connects and represents disabled staff networks at organisations across the United Kingdom. NADSN exists as a collective platform to share experiences, develop good practice, and to examine challenges and opportunities for disabled people in the workplace. Focussed on the tertiary education sector, we also have membership from the NHS, public, private and third sector, undertaking a variety of occupational roles; all committed to equality, diversity and inclusion of disabled staff. Disabled staff form an integral part of the workforce in HE.

The paper entitled “COVID-19 Post-Lockdown: Perspectives, Implications and Strategies for Disabled Staff” was developed under very tight timelines as English universities are going back quicker than the other nations, by way of a national membership consultation and peer review by NADSN’s member networks.

NADSN has been very concerned about the development of national policy up to this time and for moving out of the COVID-19 lockdown stage as national policy has been silent in relation to disabled staff apart from in presenting a narrow, medicalised view. We have structured this paper within a social model of disability and the sentiments expressed in the UN Convention of the Rights of People with Disabilities (CRPD) in considering the current issues and setting out our 12 recommendations. This paper discusses NADSN’s observations about the lived experiences of Disabled people during COVID-19. Secondly, it moves to outline COVID-19 and the changing workplace. The paper then moves to a broad discussion concerning safe working practices and policies as we move out of lockdown and beyond.

Dr Hamied Haroon, Chair of NADSN said “this paper is a landmark contribution towards COVID-19 policy formation around university and staff arrangements particularly for disabled staff employed in universities across the UK. NADSN has pulled together the voices, observations and recommendations of disabled employees throughout the country. We are an integral part of the working life and communities in universities across the country, this paper will ensure that we are no longer an afterthought in promoting diverse workforces in higher education.”

COVID-19 Post-Lockdown: Perspectives, Implications and Strategies for Disabled Staff” can be found on Google Docs here.

The Paper is also available as a Word docx and a PDF.

For Further Details

Email: uk.nadsn@gmail.com | Twitter: @nadsn_uk | Facebook: NatAssDSN | Web: nadsn-uk.org

 

Professor Anna Lawson, Director of @CDSLeeds, honours NADSN by becoming our FIRST Patron!

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NADSN (@nadsn_uk) is thrilled to announce that the wonderful Professor Anna Lawson has accepted the Steering Committee’s recent invitation to take on a brand new role as the first Patron of NADSN!

Anna is professor of Law and Director of the Centre for Disability Studies (@CDSLeeds) at the University of Leeds. Anna was our esteemed keynote speaker at this year’s NADSN Annual Conference at UCL and recorded a powerful VLOG in support of #PurpleLightUp as our senior champion!

Our Terms of Reference stipulate that our Patron will be well-known and respected in the disability field. Anna’s tireless campaigning on disability rights, the respect she has earned as an eminent academic and lawyer on the international stage, being the director of a world-class university centre on disability studies, and being an influential leader with lived experience, are just some of the qualities that make Anna the ideal candidate as our Patron. You can find out more about Anna on her profile page here.

We envisage that the role of the Patron would be to promote the aims of NADSN, provide credibility to our cause, raise awareness of the Association with people where it will count, offer guidance to the Chair and the Steering Committee, and be prepared to support occasional ‘high profile’ events.

We are deeply honoured that Anna has taken on this role and we very much look forward to working with her.

NADSN to partner with Prof Kate Sang on EPSRC-funded “Disability Inclusive Science Careers” Project

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NADSN (@nadsn_uk) is delighted to be a partner with Professor Gareth Pender (@garrypender) and Professor Kate Sang (@katesang) at Heriot Watt University in an innovative project: Disability Inclusive Science Careers (DISC). This is an exciting project funded by the EPSRC (@EPSRC) via the Inclusion Matters call and we will be collaborating closely bringing the experiences of our members and contributing to each stage. Our own experiences suggest that the DISC project has the potential to effect positive change in academics’ working conditions in the sciences and possibly beyond.

Professor Sang presented her earlier research into Disability and Academic Careers at NADSN’s 3rd Annual Conference in 2017 at the University of Edinburgh. Dr Hamied Haroon, Chair of NADSN, stated: “Kate’s work and findings connected all of us emotionally.” Accessibility for disabled University staff, as Kate’s research showed, is about workplace relationships as well as car parking, it’s about inaccessible lecture theatres, lack of opportunities for promotion and the pressures faced by disabled staff in a competitive environment. Jacquie Nicholson, Vice Chair of NADSN and Regional Lead for Scotland, commented: “NADSN is delighted that this exciting project is highlighting disabled University staff in science careers and we look forward to contributing to positive change.”

Founded in 2016, NADSN is a super-network that connects and represents disabled staff networks. We are a collective platform to share experiences and good practice, and examine challenges and opportunities, focussed on the tertiary education sector but open to any individual and organisation with an interest in the equality of disabled staff https://nadsn-uk.org/news/

For any enquiries related to this press release, please contact Jacquie Nicholson at the University of Aberdeen: jacqueline.nicholson@abdn.ac.uk

An article can also be found in the Times Higher Education: https://www.timeshighereducation.com/news/minority-scientists-mentor-senior-professors-equality-drive

Hamied gives Annual Disability Lecture at Cambridge University

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Dr Hamied Haroon (@HHHotWheels), Chair of NADSN (@nadsn_uk), was one of a panel of three disabled academics who spoke at the University of Cambridge’s 15th Annual Disability Lecture on “Disabled Academics in the 21st Century! The other two esteemed disabled academics on the panel were Professor Nigel Lockett (@nigellockett) and Professor Farah Mendlesohn (@effjayem). The Lecture was held at St John’s College (@stjohnscam) on Thursday 22nd March 2018, organised by Cambridge’s Disability Resource Centre (@Cambridge_DRC). The video recording, transcript, and other resources, are now available at https://sms.cam.ac.uk/media/2754756

 

Hamied is nominated for a National Diversity Award – please vote!

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Our Chair, Dr Hamied Haroon (@HHHotWheels), is overwhelmed to be nominated in this year’s National Diversity Awards (@ndawards) for the “Positive Role Model Award – Disability”! Hamied was nominated by the amazing Jane Cordell (@CordellJane) and extraordinary Kate Nash OBE (@KateNashOBE)!

If you would like to endorse Hamied’s nomination please visit this page to vote! Nominations and voting will close on 9th June.

#NDA17 #NDA2017

 

Science interviews Kate Sang on her research on disabled academics!

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Dr Kate Sang (@katesang) is Associate Professor in Management at Heriot-Watt University (@HeriotWattUni) and was a speaker at the NADSN Conference at The University of Edinburgh in March 2017.

Kate has been interviewed by Science Magazine (@sciencemagazine) about her critical research into the challenges faced by disabled academics and how these could be addressed. Read the article here

Hamied Haroon speaks at the House of Lords for the Snowdon Trust

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Dr Hamied Haroon (@HHHotWheels) was invited as the guest speaker during the afternoon tea reception for the Snowdon Trust (@SnowdonTrust) at the House of Lords (@UKHouseofLords) on 28th March 2017. The reception was hosted by Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson (@Tanni_GT) as Patron of the Snowdon Trust!

Hamied was supported by the Snowdon Trust to complete his MSc and start his PhD before entering a fulfilling career as a research scientist at The University of Manchester (@OfficialUoM). Hamied is currently Chair of NADSN!

Manchester Met Uni achieves GOLD in the Disability Standard!

NADSN offers huge CONGRATULATIONS to Mona Patel (@MonaP23) and her colleagues in the Equality & Diversity Team (@MMUEqualities) at Manchester Metropolitan University (@ManMetUni). They have become the first university to secure GOLD status in the Business Disability Forum’s (@DisabilitySmart) Disability Standard (@DisabilityStand) in 2017! We are so proud of this awesome achievement! More here.

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