In this final episode of season 1, we have a look at what we have learnt about disability in the workplace through our guests.
Transcript of Episode 25
Hi everyone and welcome back. This is episode 25 of the Part of Me podcast and this is the final episode of season one. Later in 2020 we will be starting Season 2, but for now we’re giving it a little break for a while for us to really sit back and reflect on the episodes so far. So this episode doesn’t have a guest but what I wanted to do was literally just spend a few minutes reflecting on the 24 episodes that we’ve had. It’s been a huge journey in part of me and I’m so glad that I’ve had so many loyal and so many new listeners and the guests that I’ve had have been amazing. I just wanted to tell you a little bit about how part of me podcast started. So actually I wanted to start a series of blogs on impairments. So helping people understand the barriers that people with different impairments face in the workplace.
And my first interviewee, as you know, was Michelle, who was a colleague of mine. And I said to her, do you mind recording this because it’s hard for me to take notes. And I promise that I won’t air it or anything. I just want to record it to help me take down the notes to then to turn this into a blog. And she said, okay, then. Sure. And so we recorded it and then afterwards I listened back and I thought, Oh my gosh, that was brilliant. And I was like: “you know I said I wouldn’t release this as a podcast? Well you were so brilliant would you let me release it?” Which is why in the first episode you’ll hear me referring to a blog more than I referred to a podcast because I was actually talking about a blog at the time.
That’s how part of me started in the first place. And it really developed and grew when I was talking to people that I would meet at networking events or meet at conferences or events or even deliver training for people, they would say, Oh my gosh, part of me, I recognize that. Is that yours? I’ve been listening to that has been really helpful. So people have told me actually how it has positively benefited them in the workplace, which is really good. I have to say during the recording of the podcast, I’ve learned a lot; least for how to technically record a podcast. I’d never recorded a podcast before and I just learned as I went and actually I hope that you’ve, you’ve kind of recognised along with me that actually my technique has developed along the way. It’s also taught me loads of skills with interviewing, which has been really helpful.
And it’s taught me lots of other skills as well with that. But it’s also, I mean, as a disabled person with lived experience myself, I am quite experienced in different impairments obviously. And I am an expert in disability inclusion, but as you probably know, there’s always more to learn. So it’s taught me so much about not just different impairments, but you know, how varied those impairments can be for different individuals and even people who have the same impairments, how they experience things in completely different ways. And how those experiences shape people both in the workplace and succeeding in other parts of life, but also how some of the barriers are reflected time and time again in the episodes. I’m sure you’ll recognise some of them yourself. There are barriers that occur over and over again for people, which are real social barriers faced by disabled people every single day.
And I hope that along with me you’ve taken things that you’ve learned from the podcast back to the workplace and maybe implemented some of them maybe officially, maybe unofficially just in the way that you, you work yourself and, and, and in that way maybe impacted your team or even your organisational culture in even the smallest way. So on this podcast, on this Series 1 of Part of Me, we’ve talked about different hidden disabilities and the barriers that people who have hidden disabilities face on a daily basis that might sometimes be similar to those with physical disabilities, but also sometimes quite different. The, the attitudinal barriers of people assuming that it’s a made up thing and it’s a way of getting out of things. I think if you remember in the first absurd, Michelle talking about people calling it the yuppie disease, the only, like the privileged got fibromyalgia, which is not true at all, but it’s people’s perceptions that are so important.
We also talked a lot and that it came up as a reoccurring theme about the importance of inclusive design. Then supporting people and signposting in stores as well. So inclusive design is actually designed by disabled people for disabled people is always the best way. Many of our guests have talked about that throughout the series. Also the theme of unconscious exclusion for disabled people. Especially in things like the recruitment stages and also in marketing and promotion. So by that I mean that the exclusion that the prejudices and the discrimination and the biases that come along from not understanding disability and therefore not actually going out of one’s way to actually make sure a disabled person feels included in what’s going on in the recruitment process and how those unconscious biases that people feel about disabled people in society that perhaps they don’t have enough experience.
Perhaps they won’t be able to hold down a job. Perhaps they’ll be lazy. All of these things, how they come out in the recruitment process and actually stop disabled people from even having the opportunity to sell themselves as we all do in interviews. Quite a few of the participants talked about the social model of disability and how that taught us that it’s the barriers in society that prevent disabled people from achieving and not people’s disabilities themselves. Robert Droy talked a lot about the social model of disability and how the social model of disability could impact all of these things in the workplace from unconscious bias to inclusive design, to accessibility to how disabled people are able to achieve to the culture of, of the workplace itself. Many of our other participants and our other guests talked about that as well in the podcast, including Ian Loynes, Lorna Marsh, Denis talked about that as well. So the social model is, is a massive thing and it’s a theme that keeps reoccurring in the podcast for very evident reasons. As well as talking about the attitudinal barriers that disabled people face, barriers caused by perceptions of disabled people by the general public. We also talked about the physical barriers to access both in the workplace and in society in shops and in other businesses. Like we’ve mentioned before today. Many of the barriers that disabled guests were facing were reoccurring barriers. Such as barriers physical barriers into a space. So spaces not having physical access for disabled people. The correct provisions, even if the entrance was accessible, the correct provisions not being available once a disabled person arrived within the store or the business that they were going to. The attitudes of the staff in the business to not be able to support and give the extra assistance when the accessibility wasn’t there.
And also the barriers to finding one’s own way around. A reoccurring theme that came up time and time again in the episodes was the importance of feeling empowered. So the disabled guests as well as myself, I would echo that as well. Was saying how important it is that they felt empowered with whatever they were doing and when the accessibility failed, this was a sense of disempowerment. If the local environment isn’t inclusive and it’s not accessible for disabled people, that they can’t access it in the first place. So that said, I would like to once again say thank you so much for tuning in and making part of me Season 1 a success. And if you are tuning in for the first time and this is your first episode, please do listen back. And I would love to hear your comments and thoughts.
The email address as usual is email@example.com I would love to hear your thoughts or your comments or your questions because we can put all that in to the next season. If you have listened to this podcast and you yourself are a disabled person who would like to share their experiences of the workplace and their experiences as a customer buying a product or a service, please do get in touch on the same email address or visit www.celebratingdisability.co.uk/partofme and send me an email and I would love to have you on the podcast. All right. Thank you very much everybody. Have a lovely season break and I will see you sometime in 2018. Bye.
#PartofMe Podcast is released on the first of the month and is available on all major podcasting apps. Including: Apple Podcasts, Spotify and Stitcher. If you would like to be part of this important conversation or have any questions resulting from anything you hear on an episode, please contact Esi at firstname.lastname@example.org