Getting involved with different projects at work seems to be my favourite hobby at the moment -last week it was the disability network.
As part of the National Inclusion Week, the group held a planning event for the national Disability Month between November and December. My role in the communications team meant I went along to the meeting to capture the event for our social media campaign. I got sucked in. I couldn’t resist contributing suggestions to the planning event and have come away with a handful of things to do (as I tend to).
My accidental inclusion in the group made me realise I had never considered joining. When I first joined the department, I was faced for the first time with the choice of ticking disabled or not. But still I sought out a women’s network and got involved right away when it re-launched. I also joined the LGBTQ group out of curiosity as I had never worked in an organisation that had groups for these things before. I never considered the disability network. Although I’ve never been a fan of labels, the term ‘disability’ wasn’t something I identified with – I certainly identified less with it than with ‘woman’ and ‘LGBT’. It seemed to be broader and vaguer to me than ‘woman’ and ‘Gay/lesbian/bi/trans’ which of course it’s not. I think that was me showing unconscious bias there.
Now I’m involved, I’ve got to say I’m excited about it. The group had some brilliant ideas for the month and were warm and welcoming. One of the things they want to push for is a campaign about people being defined by so many other things as well as their disability and that is a concept I clearly agree with. I’ll let you know how it goes.