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Meet our members

The Disabled Staff Network is growing every year with currently over 100 members. Here are profiles of a few of them.



Hi, I'm Kirsty and I currently work as Volunteering & Community Engagement Consultant within the Student Development & Community Engagement Division. I started working at the University following the merger in 2004 where I was in a marketing role at the Careers Service. Prior to that I worked as Marketing & Publications Officer at the Disability Rights Commission. I am passionate about disability equality and I think it is vitally important that all of us working at the University that have health conditions and disabilities are heard. Therefore I am really excited to be a Co-Chair of the Disability Staff Network.

In my personal live I love spending time with my friends and family. I've also recently started life as a book blogger which I'm loving as it just gives me an excuse to read more books!

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Hi, I’m Jessie, I’m a Lecturer of Functional Materials and Devices in the Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering! I gained my undergraduate physics degree at University of Exeter in 2009, followed by a PhD in Condensed Matter Physics in 2017 at the University of Oxford. I then spent a year in Germany as a research fellow, before joining the University of Manchester in October 2018. Since finishing my PhD, I have been surprised at how quickly all my support evaporated and how inaccessible my previous environments became. I am passionate about changing this, championing disability equality and accessibility, and ensuring our voices are heard (‘Nothing about us without us!). I am there absolutely delighted to take on the role of co-chair of the Disabled Staff Network and hope to make some change.

Other Members


Hello, I'm Charlene I joined the University of Manchester in 2013. I have held a variety of roles here and at other Higher Education institutions, ranging from learner retention to contact negotiation, project management and research support.. 

My many experiences of working in the HE sector as a person with multiples impairments has motivated me to step up to the challenge of co-chairing the DSN. I am personally aware that disability equality has not been achieved and that the diversity of the factors involved present many challenges to individuals and institutions. I am committed to developing staff disability equality at our University and to asking questions about how policy and processes, attitudes and fears, may be helping or hindering disability equality.

In my personal life, I am a keen gardener, amateur painter and involved in outdoor activities. My ability to participate in life outside work owes much to the enabling support I get from others.


Hamied gained his PhD in biomedical magnetic resonance imaging at The University of Manchester in 2005 and has worked there as a Research Associate since then. When Hamied became a member of staff he was shocked when all the support available to him as a disabled student suddenly disappeared! He was elected Chair of the University’s Disabled Staff Network when it was established in 2006/2007, and the Network’s first proud moment was to achieve dedicated support services provided by the University for disabled staff!

In 2013, Hamied became Co-Chair of the Network with Melanie Sharpe, and together they organised the “What Are We Hiding?” national conference for disabled staff on 6th June 2014 focussing on hidden disabilities and the hidden contribution of disabled people to the economy. The success of this conference won them the University’s inaugural “Making A Difference Award for Equality & Diversity” in May 2015. At the conference, Hamied launched the National Association of Disabled Staff Networks (NADSN), an umbrella “super-network” for disabled staff networks in institutions of higher and further education, although open to any interested organisation.

Hamied has made strong links with Kate Nash OBE and PurpleSpace on behalf of NADSN! Hamied and Melanie led the organisation of the Inaugural Lord Morris of Manchester Memorial Lecture – the University’s first ever public lecture focussing on disability rights and equality, in honour of Alf Morris, the world’s first Minister for Disabled People. This ground-breaking event took place on 3rd November with Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson as our special guest speaker!

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Hi, I’m Kenny and I have been working as part of the Manchester Medicine Programme’s Teaching Delivery Team since 2010. I started my career at The Open University through Scope’s disabled graduate scheme, then I then worked for the University of Salford before moving on to Manchester. In 2014, through the University’s Volunteering for Development scheme, I became an Accredited Volunteer with Epilepsy Action, a charity for which I raise money by delivering epilepsy awareness sessions to a range of organisations.

I spend my spare time either training Brazilian Jiu Jitsu or nursing injuries caused by Brazilian Jiu Jitsu! My safer pastimes include going to the cinema and listening to podcasts.

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Hi, I'm Jenny, a member of the Disabled Staff Network Group. I've worked in higher education for 10 years, and at UoM for around 5 years. My Mum was Lorraine Gradwell, a prominent grass-roots disability and civil rights activist who had a huge impact on Manchester's community of disabled people, so I was brought up on disobedience and dissent! I'm particularly passionate about mental health and invisible illness. In my spare time I study for a master's degree in Anthrozoology.

Please send us your profile and we will add it here!

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