On June 23rd, Shrewsbury Sixth Form College ran Diversity Day. The purpose of the day was to stimulate thinking and discussion about diversity and difference. Ann, director of Wave-length, was one of five speakers from the local area who have experience of issues related to diversity and work in this sector.
Wave-length have been looking at the issues related to disability and discrimination and the quote that captured the students attention, even before the presentation, was,
“Being a wheelchair user has certainly changed the way I perceive society and the way it perceives me. I have had difficulty in running my own business and have been at the receiving end of some negative attitudes to disability” – Ann Johnson, Director of Wave-length.
The day turned out to be very successful, with some very positive feedback from both staff and students of the college. It was great for Wave-length to be a part of Diversity Day, so Ann designed the session to be interactive and draw out wider thinking about disability and its impact in the community, which she said seemed to be very effective.
“Students asked some really interesting questions which varied from ‘how much do friends contribute to the healing process’, ‘how much value is sport in development of people with disabilities’ and wanting to know more about the practical support Wavelength can give to people injured in combat. Very interesting session.”
Colette Rugman, who organised the event, said that she thinks the students from the college really enjoyed the talk by Ann and that it has made them think more about the simple barriers that exist in life for people who have a disability. From Colette’s comments it was clear that she thought Ann’s friendly style and interactive approach was enjoyed by the students that attended the presentation, and as a result, many of them have decided to base their college research around disability.
Wave-length are always trying to make people, particularly employers, aware of people with disabilities and what can be done to support them both in the workplace and as an entrepreneur, so Diversity Day was an excellent opportunity to make the students aware of the difficulties and discrimination a person with a disability can face. The fact that the students have decided to base their research around disability shows that the presentation has definitely reached out to them and has made them want to learn more. The more workshops and presentations Wave-length provide, the more people we can reach out to and make them stop and think that disability is not a reason for discrimination, but an opportunity for diversity.
Ann has also recently wrote an article for Empower magazine which reviews the impact of employment on amputees, focusing on what the impact was and how might challenges be overcome. To read the article go to page 37 at:
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