Disability Recognition Month 2021: Finding our way

April 19th, 2021

At the university we are committed to supporting Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) for our staff and students.

During May 2021 we will be recognising and celebrating disability across the university.  With this year’s theme of ‘Finding our way’, we aim to increase awareness and understanding of disability, share experiences of disabled staff, students, and alumni, and highlight available disability support.

We will be running a programme of live and pre-recorded events throughout May, as well as sharing a range of information and resources.  We will also be promoting locally led projects, funded through the Disability Recognition Month programme board.

We’d like to encourage everyone to find out more, get involved, and share details of the programme within their respective areas.

Click the images below and read on to find out more.

A link to the Introduction to student disability for UoN staff event

A link to the Understanding and embracing neurodiversity event

A link to the Toolkit for supporting disabled staff event

Alumni Blog Series

Visit this page in May, when we will be sharing a series of blogs kindly contributed by University of Nottingham alumni – Molly O’Brien (Graduated 2016), Agata Cienciala (Graduated 2018), Aymun Khan (Graduated 2019) and Tom Lamb (Graduated 2020).

Reflecting on this year’s theme of ‘Disability: Finding our way’, the alumni will share their experiences of living with a disability whilst at Nottingham, transitioning to and from university life and their career journeys to-date, along with their advice to inspire and support current students and staff.

If you or someone you know would like to write a blog for the series, please email: Emily.Bateman@nottingham.ac.uk

Myth-busting with the Autism Social Network

Watch these engaging 2-minute videos, featuring student members of the Autism Social Network discussing and ‘debunking’ some of the myths and stereotypes surrounding autism.

‘Let’s be clear about EDI’ webinar series for managers and staff

Watch back or book a place on these insightful pre-recorded and live webinars from the Leadership and Management Academy.

Reasonable adjustments that enable inclusivity

Providing the right support for staff with disabilities is a crucial part of every leader’s role and fundamental to building an inclusive culture. Join colleagues from our Disability Staff Network as they explore the topic of reasonable adjustments through lived experiences. Learn about some of the things you need to be aware of, some of the scenarios you might face, and how to support your staff and those you work with.

Access a recording from a previous webinar or book to attend the next live webinar on 7 July

Embracing neurodiversity

Neurodiversity refers to the infinite variation in human neurocognitive functioning and behaviour. Neurodivergent individuals experience atypical cognitive functioning and may be diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, Autism, Dyslexia or Dyspraxia. Find out how you can best support neurodivergent staff, hear their experiences through shared discussion, and find out how to access the resources that help us embrace neurodiversity.

Access a recording from a previous webinar or book to attend the next live webinar on 13 October.

Local events and activities

Becoming a Disability Ally – Thursday 27 May, 4pm

The School of Education are hosting an event that focuses on how best to be an ally of disabled people, both at work and in the community. Dr Laura (Mole) Chapman, a disability equality trainer for over 30 years, will be recording a ‘provocation’ which will be watched during the seminar and responses discussed.

The discussion will be facilitated by Dr Elizabeth Walton and Dr Anne Emerson (MA Special and Inclusive Education). Many of us would like to be strong allies to the disabled people in our lives but hold back from fear of making errors. The focus of this workshop is to explore barriers and facilitators of positive social interaction between disabled people and those who seek to be their allies with the aim that attendees will gain increased confidence in their role as an ally. This event is open to everyone.
Register here.

A Different View

Student Services will be hosting a photo contest throughout the month of May. Within the department, staff are invited to submit photos showcasing a disabled person’s life under the title ‘A different view’. Photographic entries will celebrate the story and character of their disability in order to encourage viewers to see disabled persons and disability in a new way.

This contest aims to challenge the stereotyping of disabled persons by celebrating individuality and allowing others to see the disability as one of many aspects that make up a person’s unique identity. It also aims to raise awareness and bring the conversation about disability to the forefront of communications and conversations. Entries will be showcased across the department and in physical spaces over the coming months.

Disability and Learning Experiences: Student Perspectives: Wednesday 26 May, 2pm – 3.30pm

‘Nottingham University Business School are hosting a university-wide event for both academic and professional staff. The aim of the event is to increase awareness of a range of cognitive differences such as dyslexia and autism and how they affect student learning. A number of students will be invited to explain how they study and what simple steps can be taken to make their experience more inclusive. Each student will choose which aspect of the learning experience they want to focus on (e.g. f2f learning, online learning, assessments). Visual aids (low contrast, excessive cursive fonts) and props (reading filters) will be used to show the audience what it means to learn in this context. Employers will also be invited to explain how they adapt the working environment to cater for diversity.’
Join in here.

Exploring Disability Disclosure and Support among University of Nottingham Staff: Challenges, Barriers and Opportunities – Wednesday 26 May, 6pm – 7pm.

Disclosure of disability amongst University of Nottingham staff remains low compared to the national population (4.6 vs 19%), reducing further among staff at more senior levels. The recent University review on supporting disabled staff (2020) highlights the importance of understanding the barriers, obstacles, and facilitators to disability disclosure at work. In support of Disability Recognition month, staff across the University will be invited to attend a live webinar.
Register Here.

The aim of this webinar is to better understand the barriers, obstacles, and facilitators to disability disclosure at work; to understand and reflect on the lived experiences of staff with a disability and their considerations and experiences regarding disclosure at work; and to highlight existing resources and good practice examples to support disabled staff and line-managers in their duty of care.

Speakers include:

  • Dr Jennifer Leigh, editor of ‘Ableism in Academia’, keynote speaker
  • Professor Neil Coulson, Professor of Health Psychology, and EDI Director, School of Medicine
  • Hosted by FMHS Disability Champions, Dr Juliet Hassard, and Dr Paula Croal

For further information, please contact the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences Disability Champions: Dr Juliet Hassard (juliet.hassard@nottingham.ac.uk) and Dr Paula Croal (paula.croal@nottingham.ac.uk)

‘Let’s just talk!’ How Disabled colleagues can benefit the whole team

Through a podcast, Katharine Kadio (Professional Development) and Dr Ossie Stuart (EDI consultant) discuss what it means to have a deep understanding of the social model of disability, and draw on learning gained through working with participants on the University of Nottingham’s CALIBRE programme (leadership and development programme for disabled staff). This podcast, sits alongside other guidance, to inform quality Manager-led conversations about disability. Informal knowledge highlights that these can be variable in outcome, and stressful for all involved. A more authentic awareness of the challenges and experiences of disabled employees would improve their quality, and potentially, outcomes. Details of the podcast to follow.

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May 18th, 2021 at 3:17 pm

Nigel Hunt

Disability awareness month? Really? There are key events taking place outside core hours (eg Disability disclosure, 1800-1900). My disability means that I do not function particularly well in the evenings. If I want to attend this meeting then it is not possible (and no I do not want to be relegated to seeing a recording. That means I cannot take an active part). So much for challenges, barriers and opportunities regarding disability disclosure. At least put the meetings in core hours, or does this show what the university really feels about disability?

May 20th, 2021 at 9:42 am


Dear Nigel,

Thank you for your feedback. This is the first time we are celebrating Disability Recognition Month in May, so it’s useful to know what does and doesn’t work.

Across Disability Recognition Month, we have aimed to curate a range of morning, afternoon, and evening events to facilitate broader points of access and participation. We hoped that this approach provides points of access across a range of events and timings, and, in turn, across a diverse range of individual circumstances and personal preferences.

It sounds like our approach for this particular event means that you would not be able to attend, and we are really sorry about that. While we will provide a recording after the event, we appreciate that this is not the same as participating live.

This event was organised by the newly appointed disability champions in Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences. They welcome your feedback and will ensure that in the future there are events in work time as well. The organisers will also get in touch directly to discuss this with you.

The EDI team.

August 20th, 2022 at 9:19 am


Great Article! Thank you for sharing this is a very informative post, and looking forward to the latest one.

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