IP Ability is the IP Inclusive community for disabled people, carers and their allies working within the IP professions. We aim to provide a supportive and informative network focusing on issues relating to disability, neurodiversity and health conditions of all kinds, be they mental or physical, visible or invisible, permanent or temporary, sudden onset or progressive.
IP Ability intends to:
The IP Ability community is run by a small volunteer committee. If you’re interested in being part of the committee or taking more of an active role in the community, please email us or join our LinkedIn or Facebook group. We would love to hear from you, whether with questions, offers of help or suggestions for future activities. Our current committee members are shown further down this page.
You can read about what we got up to in our first year in this article by committee member Francesca Rivers. To receive updates about our future activities and events, sign up to the IP Inclusive mailing list here and select IP Ability as one of your communities of interest. (Please note that if you’re already signed up to one of our mailing lists, when you submit the form you will be asked to “update your preferences”.)
The IP Ability committee has compiled a collection of useful links and resources to help IP professionals and employers become more disability-confident. You can access the latest version here. The collection includes general resources for employers, employees and aspiring IP professionals. It also highlights some tools and resources relating to specific aspects of disability, neurodiversity, health and caring.
Here are links to recordings of relevant IP Inclusive/IP Ability events:
Our committee members have also taken part in IP Inclusive’s “Allies & Intersectionality” interview series: in Episode 3, Jonathan Andrews shared his experiences of being on the autism spectrum, whilst in Episode 4, Chris Clarke spoke about being a carer. Links to various other IP Ability media coverage, including articles on a range of disability-related issues, can be found in our “IP Ability in the Media” post.
Below you can listen to an audio recording of the discussions at our 3 December 2019 launch gathering:
You may also find our Mental Health and Wellbeing page useful, or the “News and Features” posts below. Plus there’s a wonderful, short video here about epilepsy awareness, which we created for “Purple Day” on 26 March 2021.
We would love to hear from you with your suggestions, both about resources you already know of and those you’d like to find here. Please also check out IP Inclusive’s main Resources page for other materials relevant to diversity and inclusion.
We decided to begin our work by getting a better idea of current levels of support in the IP sector for disabled people and carers. We wanted to know how much awareness and understanding there is, among both employers and employees, about suitable workplace adjustments; whether people feel comfortable asking for support; and generally how “disability-confident” our organisations are. We launched our inaugural survey in November 2019 and we are using the information to help shape our 2020 plans, allowing us to target support and awareness-raising to the areas where they’re most needed.
The survey was open to all IP professionals, whatever their role and career level. Importantly, it was just as much for people who don’t have disabilities or caring responsibilities as for those who do: this will give us valuable information about the extent of any problems that the responses identify. We’re extremely grateful to everyone who took part.