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Meet the network

The Disability Staff Network welcomes people from all areas of the University and you can meet some of their members below.

Rachel Heyes, Disability Staff Network Co-Chair

Rachel Heyes

Rachel is a Learning Technologist for the University's MBChB Medicine programme and is responsible for developing engaging and interactive learning content. This includes actively supporting the development of medical educators and faculty staff. Rachel works part-time as someone with multiple chronic health issues, and has many decades of experience navigating work, and life with disabilities.
Rachel taught creative media production within an FE college, focusing on vocational training, including the BBC apprenticeship programme. She also works as a Principal Examiner for Cambridge Assessment International Education and is a blog editor for the Association of Learning Technologists (ALT).

Laura Howard, Disability Staff Network Co-Chair

Laura Howard

Laura, is a 2nd year PGR in Archaeology. Laura has physical and cognitive disabilities as a result of a TBI. This includes chronic pain, mobility limitations, fatigue, difficulty with memory, difficulty with comprehension, and difficulty with social cues and speech. Laura became involved with improving access when she began her PhD. This has included creating and running focus groups for disabled PGR's, helping to start and run a research and support group for disabled PGR's, and creating training for staff. Laura is excited to co-chair the disabled staff network and really hopes the network can make real institutional changes.

Steven Pierce, Disability Staff Network Co-Chair

Steven Pierce

Steven was born and educated in the U.S., and he holds a PhD in anthropology and history from the University of Michigan.  He has taught African history at Manchester since 2006, and he is also the Senior Editor for Africa of the journal Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa, and the Middle East.  Steven lives in Manchester with his husband and teenaged son.