National Association of Disabled Staff Networks (NADSN) – Spring Conference

The NADSN Spring Conference was hosted in a nicely renovated and accessible Edinburgh Centre for Carbon Innovation http://edinburghcentre.org/. I thought it would be interesting to attend not only from a personal angle but really useful in my role as a line manager.

In the world of web development, we are all very familiar with the concept of web accessibility. Still striving towards it rather than 100% compliant we are at least very aware of the possible issues and barriers and the good practice guides to overcome these. Web accessibility in the context of student or outreach materials has had a lot of publicity over the past 10 years or so (for a good reason of course).

Currently, UoE is also investing a lot of money to get rid of the physical barriers, adapting the old buildings particularly as part of improving the student experience.

There is a bit of a contrast though in a way the HE addresses issues of disabled staff. Stephanie Millar, Senior Policy Advisor, Equality Challenge Unit in her very informative keynote quoted that only 3.3% of the University Staff disclose a disability. This can be compared with around 18% of the interviewed general public.

The reasons for this huge discrepancy may be many. Fewer disabled staff being employed in HE but also much fewer wishing to disclose their condition for the still very much alive fear of stigma.

Generally speaking, everyone wants to be seen as a fully productive and able member of staff rather than a “problem”.

The non-disclosure is one of the reasons why it may be easy for the institutions to ignore the issues. Departmental culture plays a very significant role in the treatment and policies around the disability of staff. This created many inequalities how for example special adjustments or disability leave is treated. It is through networks such as the NADSN that the slow change in attitudes is beginning to emerge.

Thank you to the brave speakers who are coming with the personal stories as well as the knowledge of the field.

 

 

CHSS Research Impacts Site is live!

Every now and then a project brings the whole team together and combines everyone’s knowledge and expertise.

It’s always extremely rewarding to see a final product so we’re very excited to announce the launch of the University of Edinburgh’s ‘Research Impact’ site. Going live today after months of planning, building, recording and editing we’re pleased to say it looks great! We will be adding new case studies and improving the website over the next few months but are very happy with announcing what’s in place to the big wide world. And so without further ado… (drum roll please…) here it is!

http://www.impact.hss.ed.ac.uk/

Humanities and Social Science Research Impact websiteResearch Impact website As a world leading university much of the research that goes on in Edinburgh is helping to change world politics, law, economics, social thinking and practises (to name a few!). Here at the uni we felt that the impacts of many of the research studies in the College of Humanities and Social Science were so outstanding that they had to be showcased. The Research Impacts site has taken some of the biggest personalities and most impactful studies and given them a platform. From rebuilding the face of an ancient Egyptian mummy to the impact of neuroscience on The Church of Scotland, the topics and staff featured are vast and all equally fascinating. Building the website, and in my case producing the video features, was (and is) a huge task given that even though these academics are leaders in their fields they can be far too modest or, heaven forbid, camera shy!

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Free coffee

Web people are hopeless without coffee, apparently, so this perked us up.

Edinburgh Centre for Carbon Innovation cafe

The Edinburgh Centre for Carbon Innovation is looking for a name for its new cafe – and the prize includes 10 free coffees — enough caffeine to wake the medieval knight discovered under their car park.

The shortlist is now

  • Caffeine Capture Cafe

  • Knight’s Table

  • Old School Cafe

  • Sustain

  • The Energy Store

and entries close on the 15 May,  so get on over at vote at:

http://www.edinburghcentre.org/competition.html