Our latest networking and support community, “IP Ability”, launched this week as part of our IP Inclusive Week celebrations. Here two of its committee members, Marianne Privett of AA Thornton and Francesca Rivers of Cancer Research Technology, tell us about how the community was formed and what it hopes to do in the future.
IP Ability grew out of a group of individuals who each contacted Andrea Brewster (IP Inclusive superstar!) to express an interest in matters that concerned people with disabilities and their carers. Andrea recognised our shared interest and suggested we form the committee of a new IP Inclusive community.
Those of us on the committee have varied experiences of disability and caring responsibilities. What unites us is our desire to improve the experience of people with disabilities or caring responsibilities who work within the IP professions, and to help those people access and contribute to the professions to their fullest possible extent. We hope that by supporting IP professionals, informing employers and sharing news, events and resources of relevance to disability, we can help remove barriers and empower community members.
We are launching IP Ability with a survey so we can better understand the experiences and needs of those within the IP professions who have disabilities or caring responsibilities. The results of that survey (which is anonymous) will be discussed at our formal launch event on 3 December 2019 (the UN’s International Day of Persons with Disabilities), during which we can identify common problems and hopefully start to suggest solutions.
We welcome suggestions for events or areas of focus. Feel free to make such suggestions using our survey or contact us by email on IPAbilityNetwork@gmail.com. We also welcome email requests for help or support, no matter how serious or trivial the matter may seem – we’re here to help.
Keep an eye out for more details of the survey and launch event, which we’ll be posting before the end of IP Inclusive Week.