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Public event addresses disability in the workplace

26 October 2016

Cardiff Business School hosts ESRC Cardiff Festival of Social Sciences event launching Disability Talking film, followed by panel discussion.

Professors Melanie Jones and Victoria Wass will lead the Disability Talking event, which forms part of the 2016 ESRC Festival of Social Sciences, at the Postgraduate Teaching Centre on Thursday 10th November 2016 at 6.00pm

The event will launch a short film constructed around first-person accounts of disability challenges and supports at work. The film’s interviewees represent a range of disabilities. Alongside the personal narratives are statistical summaries highlighting the scale of disability-related disadvantage in the contemporary workplace.

Included in the film is the case of Meseret Kumulchew, who successfully sued Starbucks for disability discrimination. Meseret talks powerfully and eloquently of the challenges posed by her dyslexia and the impact of the discrimination she faced. Her legal team highlight the issues which arise in this case.

The event’s speaker line-up all have a connection to the issue of dyslexia, whether from a research perspective, in a personal capacity or a legal context:

  • Dr Rhys Jones (lecturer at Cardiff University’s School of Biosciences and BBC, Discovery and National Geographic presenter) will relay his personal story of struggling with dyslexia at school, being offered a chance to study at Cardiff University as a mature student and the supports that have helped him succeed in his work both in the university and in the media.
  • Melanie Jameson is Chair of the Dyslexia Adult Network (DAN) has worked with government and employers to improve workplace support for adults with dyslexia. She and will speak about the ways in which dyslexic difficulties can create barriers to success in employment but how, if properly understood and appropriately supported, the 10% of the population with dyslexic difficulties can succeed in a wide range of careers.
  • Rajiv Bhatt (Barrister at Farrar’s Building) and Jenna Ide (Solicitor at Thomas Mansfield Ltd) were the legal team who represented Meseret Kumulchew in her case of disability discrimination against Starbucks and will talk about the legal lessons and implications of the case.

Professor Melanie Jones says: “We are very proud to be launching this powerful film of first-hand accounts of disability disadvantage at work at the Disability Talking event as part of the 2016 ESRC Festival of Social Science. Our participation fully reflects Cardiff Business School’s commitment to its Public Value strategy.”

Professor Victoria Wass adds: “Melanie and I look forward to sharing our recent research findings on measuring and understanding disability disadvantage at work and welcoming a diverse panel of speakers who can shine a light on personal, professional and legal experiences of coping with dyslexia in the workplace. We anticipate a lively discussion and look forward to engaging with the public audience.”

The Disability Talking event will be held at Cardiff Business School’s Postgraduate Teaching Centre on Thursday 10 November 2016, from 6.00pm – 8.00pm. Find out more information and register your attendance online.

The ESRC Festival of Social Science is a week-long celebration of the social sciences and social science research, taking place from 5-12 November across the UK. It offers a fascinating insight into some of the country's leading social science research and how it influences social, economic and political lives - now and in the future. Cardiff University is running a number of public events as part of the 2016 Festival and further information can be found on the University’s event pages.

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