Thursday 3rd December 2020 was “International Day of People with Disabilities”. The 2020 theme ‘Not all Disabilities are Visible’ focused on spreading awareness and understanding of disabilities that are not immediately apparent, such as mental illness, chronic pain or fatigue, sight or hearing impairments, diabetes, brain injuries, neurological disorders, learning differences and cognitive dysfunctions, among others. It's thought that up to 70% of all disabilities within the UK are hidden.
Building on the theme, Professor Heidi Probst and Professor Sarah Pearson hosted a panel event of guest speakers who shared open and honest accounts and experiences of living with hidden disabilities. Our panel members were:
- Erik Baxter, senior lecturer in mathematics and physics, researcher in the field of general relativity and black holes.
- Sam Cleasby, blogger, writer, health activist and public speaker, and a current Sheffield Hallam student.
- Dr Luke Beardon, senior lecturer in autism, author, speaker, passionate about autism
The event also explored how we can all contribute to creating an environment at Hallam that supports staff and students with hidden disabilities to feel empowered to disclose.
Many attendees shared personal experiences during the event which really helped to create a powerful yet safe space. We want to build on this and invite anyone who would like to share their experiences to write a blog or create a video for our staff experience page. This is just the starting point of creating a safe environment at Sheffield Hallam where people feel able to be themselves without fear of judgement.
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