IP Ability

Our newest community, IP Ability, held an informal gathering to celebrate its launch and to help shape its future plans.

IP Ability’s aim is to provide support and encouragement for disabled people, carers, their allies and their employers. But what does that mean on a day-to-day basis? What resources and support would IP professionals and their employers benefit from, to make their workplaces more disability-confident? What can IP Ability do to raise awareness and understanding of the issues facing disabled people and their carers in the IP sector? What kinds of activities and events should it organise, to provide safe spaces where people can share their experiences and support one another? These were the issues we discussed – and all IP professionals were welcome to join us and add their suggestions.

To help us, we took a sneak preview at the results of IP Ability’s inaugural survey (see here). We were also joined by two experienced panellists:

  • Jane Burton, Chair, Law Society’s Lawyers with Disabilities Division
  • Natasha Hirst, from the research project Legally Disabled?, which explores the experiences of disabled people in the legal profession and the barriers to entry and career progression.

Some key themes emerged, around the experiences of disabled people and carers, and ways to help their colleagues and employers provide a more supportive working environment, so that everyone can perform to the best of their ability on a level playing field. These themes will be key to IP Ability’s role within the IP Inclusive community.

You can listen to an audio recording of the discussions below (our thanks to the staff at AA Thornton for providing this).


Venue and timings

Scheduled to coincide with the UN’s International Day of Persons with Disabilities on 3 December 2019, this event was kindly hosted by AA Thornton at their offices at 10 Old Bailey, London EC4M 7NG. Our hosts also set up dial-in facilities for those who wanted to attend from another location. The main event was from 6 to 7 pm, with registration from 5.30 pm and drinks and nibbles for those who wanted to stay on and chat for a while afterwards. And there was plenty to chat about…

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