Disability Network

The Staff Disability Network is a voluntary group that aims to be an inclusive network open to all staff members, not only those with a disability, but also those with caring responsibilities, staff with restrictive and/or long-term health conditions, and/or those with an interest in disability issues (professional or otherwise).

The Network aims to provide such staff with a safe and confidential space to share experiences, opinions, information and support related to disability, and to support research and academic related practice.

We also aim to be the key point of contact for the University to consult with on policies and projects, and to ensure that our voice and representation positively influences the development and implementation of current and new University policies.

This will include providing representation and input during the University's Equality, Diversity and Inclusion committee meetings. We also wish to raise the profile of disabled staff and disability within the University and beyond.

The Committee Structure is Currently:

  • Vacancy - Co-chair Academic
  • Mrs Charmaine Brady - Co-chair (professional) support services
  • Dr Karen Chessum – Secretary
  • Mr Paul Haysom - Communications/Membership Officer
  • Vacancy - Events Officer

The overall mission of the Staff Disability Network is to provide a network of mutual support and a collective voice for staff with disabilities, restrictive health conditions and caring responsibilities, so to support the development of a positive culture for such staff at the University of Bedfordshire. It's specific objectives are as follows:

  • To be an inclusive network open to all staff members, not only those with a disability, but also those with caring responsibilities, staff with restrictive and/or long-term health conditions, and/or those with an interest in disability issues (professional or otherwise).
  • To provide such staff with a safe and confidential space to share experiences, opinions, information and support related to disability, and to support research and academic related practice.
  • To be the key point of contact for the University to consult with on policies and projects, and to ensure that our voice and representation positively influences the development and implementation of current and new University policies. This will include providing representation and input during the University's Equality, Diversity and Inclusion committee meetings.
  • To raise the profile of disabled staff and the consciousness of disability-related issues within the University and beyond.

The coffee mornings take place on the last Friday of every month at 10am-11am.

This is open to all staff members, not only those with a disability, but also those with caring responsibilities, staff with restrictive and/or long-term health conditions, and/or those with an interest in disability issues.

No need to book, you can just turn up! We look forward to see you :)

The schedule for the rest of the year is as follows:

  • (booking is not needed and you can just turn up)
  • Friday 27th May 2022: 10am - 11am, this event is virtual via Teams please email the sdncommittee@beds.ac.uk for a link.
  • (booking is not needed and you can just turn up)
  • Friday 24th June 2022: 10am - 11am, this event is virtual via Teams please email the sdncommittee@beds.ac.uk for a link.
  • (booking is not needed and you can just turn up)

University staff can access full information and dates of upcoming events on the internal Staff Disability Network site (staff login needed).

Upcoming Staff Awareness and Knowledge Event

Our next Staff Awareness and Knowledge Event talk TBC soon! 

Staff Awareness and Knowledge Building Event

We are organising a series of disability awareness and knowledge-building event for staff starting in September 2021 when staff have returned to campus.

These events involve an internal member of this Network or invited external person talking about their disability-related experiences for 20 minutes, followed by a 20-minute live Q&A session.

The aim is for university staff to hear about these experiences, be posed some reflective questions, and ultimately to become more aware, knowledgeable and sensitive to such issues.

We would welcome expressions of interest from any staff to present in future events.

Submit this form to become a disability network member


This was the first in a series of staff disability awareness and knowledge events.

Gayle delivered her presentation on 22nd September 2021. She presented for approx. 20 minutes and welcomed audience questions.

Gayle's talk is available via our staff intranet. A staff login required.


Our speaker for our second in the series of Staff Awareness and Knowledge Building was Charmaine. Charmaine’s talk titled ‘Hidden disabilities’, was our network's first blended event.

Charmaine presented for approx. 20 minutes and welcomed many audience questions.


Our speaker for our third in the series of Staff Awareness and Knowledge Building was by Dr Gareth Farmer. Gareth's talk titled 'Neurodivergence' - What is it and why should universities care? An Autistic Academic's Perspective’, was a virtual event.

Dr Gareth Farmer presented for approx. 20 minutes and welcomed questions from the audience.


Our speaker for our fourth in the series of Staff Awareness and Knowledge Building was Emma. Emma's talk was on Wednesday 4th May 2022, and titled ‘The intersections of different disabilities: opening up about my experiences as a working professional with chronic physical illnesses'.

Emma presented for approx. 20 minutes and welcomed many questions from the audience of nearly 30.

 

Sunflower Lanyards

Sunflower lanyard

The Staff Disability Network has obtained a supply of sunflower lanyards for staff with a disability.

This may be particularly useful if you have a disability (especially a hidden disability) and/or if you cannot cope with the University's current one-way system, perhaps because of mobility issues or raised levels of anxiety.

If you wish to register for a lanyard, please contact Charmaine Brady (using your University of Bedfordshire staff email) at charmaine.brady@beds.ac.uk and she can arrange for you to obtain one.

telephone

University switchboard
During office hours
(Monday-Friday 08:30-17:00)
+44 (0)1234 400 400

Outside office hours
(Campus Watch)
+44 (0)1582 74 39 89

email

Admissions
admission@beds.ac.uk

International office
international@beds.ac.uk

Student support
sid@beds.ac.uk

Registration
sid@beds.ac.uk

Our Tweets: @uniofbeds