Thought Leadership Blog

The Thought Leadership series provides a platform to a range of experts and leading voices working in disability and accessibility. The articles offer contributors an opportunity to set an agenda for change, challenge the status quo and drive the vital conversations that surround the hard work being done by many people to improve the lives of disabled people.

Article by Claire Cookson, CEO DFN Project SEARCH

Chief Executive Officer of the DFN Foundation and DFN Project SEARCH, Claire Cookson is an experienced senior leader with an extensive background in education. She brings a strong understanding of collaborating with businesses, educators, and Local Authorities to develop employability outcomes for learners with special educational needs and disabilities. Read the full article

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Claire Cookson

The diversity within Diversity

The context for this piece is that my colleagues and I at ASM have for the last decade been supporting neurodivergent people to find and retain employment. We currently work with around 150 individual clients, and are involved with 60-odd different companies and organisations across all sectors of the economy. Read the full article

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There’s no diversity without disability

After 24 years working in the global corporate world, I chose to jump ship. In the middle of a pandemic, I started a consultancy, practicing in an area most organisations don’t understand and therefore had few plans to invest in – disability inclusion and accessibility. Read the full article

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Jodie Greer

Accessibility: a practice of progress over perfection

In a world where technology has the opportunity to change the lives of people around the world, there are more than one billion people who are too often overlooked. For those who have decided to help change this, the journey from inaccessible to accessible is non-linear. The process from non-inclusive to inclusive is one that requires compassion and determination. One which needs curiosity, humility, intention, and commitment. Read the full article

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Christopher Patnoe

Evolving Awareness and improving experiences in face to face customer service – The experience that led former Mobility Instructor, Gavin Neate to innovate.

When this incident happened, I had been a Guide Dog Mobility Instructor for 6 years. It made me realise that as much as I felt I was helping, I was inadvertently part of the problem. By standing at my client’s shoulder, I was encouraging this unprepared and unsure staff member to interact with me rather than my client. By returning eye contact, I provided them with an escape route which they immediately took. Read the full article

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Gavin Neat

Exceeding Compliance: Creating Informed Clients in the Physical Accessibility Space

As a specialist in physical accessibility, there is one major issue which I encounter on a daily basis, which informs nearly all others: a lack of education. Through no real fault of their own, a lack of awareness among the large majority of people tend to underestimate the scope of what accessibility in physical spaces entails. Normally, it is only the most visible examples of accessibility solutions which enter public awareness. Read the full article

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Profile picture of Rehan Hussain

Forcing a rethink in the design and delivery of workplace health and wellbeing strategy

This paper has not been set to provide a great solution. Rather, it considers some ideas of how to rethink the ‘beautiful mess’ we continue to create: the morass of disconnected and siloed workplace health and wellbeing services which are failing to efficiently serve organisations and employees alike. Read the full article

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Mark Howard

The top six things you need to know about web accessibility, but may not have known you needed to ask

Web accessibility can seem like a daunting task. With rapidly changing legislation always looming on the horizon it is something that many organisations need to tackle. For the uninitiated, looking at the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) (often pronounced as “Wuh-cag”) can leave even the sharpest minds feel like they are drowning in a sea of words. Read the full article

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Beyond Empty Rhetoric – A Frank Conversation About Inclusive Recruitment

I have spent over twenty years working in and around Disability. While my eyesight may not have improved over those years, my ability to see through empty talk most certainly has. Unfortunately, intended or not, when it comes to recruiting disabled people and hiring diverse workforces, it is far too commonplace for people to say all the right things without following it up with action. Read the full article

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Tracey Abbott profile picture

Disabled by Circumstance: Widening our understanding and application of the social model of disability 

The traditional model for understanding disability, referred to as the Medical Model of Disability, focusses upon the features or symptoms of a disabled person’s condition in order to define their disability. Of course, diagnostic medicine and treatment is enormously valuable; but it is not without its limitations. Read the full article

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Marius Frank

Towards a joined-up approach to supporting disabled and neurodiverse individuals in Education & Employment

Over the past thirty years – the length of time since we founded Microlink in 1992 – there have been dramatic changes in how we understand and talk about disability and neurodiversity. However, despite efforts to eradicate stigma and improve support to disabled and neurodiverse individuals, there remains significant work to be done. Read the full article

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Profile pictire of Dr Nasser Siabi CEO of Microlink