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"What are we hiding?": first National Conference of the UK's Disabled Workforce

21 Jan 2013

Organised and hosted by the University's Disabled Staff Network and featuring a workshop with Ruby Wax.

There’s certainly nowhere better than Manchester to make history and delegations from disabled staff networks all over the UK will be converging here to take part in this event on Friday, 7 and Saturday, 8 June 2013.

Although the Conference may appeal particularly to other networks nationally, it is open to absolutely anyone.

The conference title is intended to portray the double theme of “hidden” disabilities and the “hidden” contribution of disabled employees to the nation’s economy.

The conference will aim to:

  • Combat the prejudices faced by all disabled people in the world of work;
  • Recognise the particular difficulties faced by people with non-visible disabilities or health conditions, such as mental health and autoimmune conditions;
  • Counteract the overwhelmingly negative image of disabled people in the media by highlighting and celebrating the lives of disabled people in employment – people who are succeeding against the odds, often without any real support;
  • Model a positive structure for solidarity and support, with a possibility of developing the “Disabled Staff Network” model throughout the public, private, voluntary and social sectors.

We hope to attract up to 300 delegates from around the country. The conference will consist of approximately 16 different sessions led by speakers from various organisations with certain sessions also co-presented by members of our Network with personal experience in a particular area. Our ‘headline’ session is a workshop with Ruby Wax!

There will be an exhibition area with stands from a variety of charities and organisations. A conference dinner on the Friday evening will include a catwalk featuring disabled “models”!

You can express an interest in attending on the conference website:

The website will be updated as more information is made available and will eventually be used for online registration.

Look out for the posters around campus!