Blog: DRILL welcomes Sue Bott as new programme manager

Sue Bott, DRILL Programme Manager

Sue Bott, DRILL Programme Manager

It’s a fascinating time to be joining DRILL as the new programme manager.

The ambition was to develop and implement a project which would make a real and practical difference to disabled people’s lives, both now and in the future.

The programme has produced a broad range of reports and toolkits which will benefit disabled people. These will provide resources for commissioners and policy makers to draw on when it comes to developing new policies, systems and services which help people get, maintain and increase independence.

We’ve aimed to cut across a huge range of impairment groups, geographical areas and ethnic backgrounds – an aim which I think has been well met.

At its heart has been the over-riding principle of involving disabled people in the design and implementation of the projects, all of which were part of an approval process led by disabled people from a range of fields, including academia and disabled people’s organisations.

Looking ahead there are more riches to come. Two of our projects are delivering ground breaking research results next week.

On January 23rd, The Alliance for Inclusive Education (ALLFIE) is publishing its findings of surveys and interviews with over 400 parents, children and education professionals to explore how well – or badly – schools are doing with accessibility plans.

Accessibility plans are a statutory requirement for all schools. They are supposed to set out how individual schools are addressing the current and future needs of disabled pupils and students when it comes to the physical environment, information provision and teaching and learning practices.

On January 24th, the ‘Legally Disabled’ project will report on its findings about disability discrimination in the legal profession. In an industry with such a central place in today’s society, and of course with the benefit of knowing about the law, we felt it was important to know how well disabled people get on in the world of legal eagles.

The team from Cardiff University, led by disabled researchers, spoke to people at all levels of the profession, from trainee lawyers to barristers and judges. How easy is it to break into the profession if you’re disabled? What kind of response do you get if you ask for reasonable adjustments to make it easier to do your job? And what are the experiences of senior figures in the profession?

All will be revealed at a conference to discuss the findings on the 24th. The conference is now full, but we will of course be publishing the findings on the DRILL website at the end of next week.

The same is true of the ALLFIE research, which will also be available through the DRILL website on the 23rd January.

If you’d like to know more about the projects which we’ve been funding, do go to our projects page for a full list.

Previously Head of Research at Disability Rights UK, Sue Bott is the new Programme Manager at DRILL

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