Disability: Glad and Grateful keeps us small – The problem with gratitude 

28 February 2024


There is a lot of chat these days about the importance of gratitude; we are encouraged to keep diaries and find things to be thankful for. In my latest article I share why I feel gratitude can be problematic and can hold us back.


In our personal/career development programme for disabled colleagues (PDP)we witness so much unhelpful gratitude from our disabled delegates. We explore the potential, and often very real, issue of gratitude in the workplace.


delegates regularly express gratitude for receiving what they are entitled to, for having a disability confident manager and even for having a job at all. Let me be clear…. These are highly motivated and talented professionals whose strong sense of gratitude is often detrimental.


In, Disability: Glad and Grateful keeps us small – The problem with gratitude, I share why it’s time to keep our gratitude diaries on our shelves and shelf our gratitude while we’re at it.







Twice as hard; just as good; half as far: Sound familiar? Working twice as hard to be seen as just as good? 

15 February 2024


person on hamster wheel

Sound familiar? Ever felt you are ‘working twice as hard’ as those around you to be seen as just as good or to get just as far? This is something we hear regularly from disabled delegates on our professional development programme for disabled colleagues.

Inequity in the workplace is still a thing and for too many working twice as hard is a necessary requirement to progress, or even be seen as ‘just as good’. 

I believe it’s time to stop sharing with our young people likely to face biases that, “you need to work twice as hard to be seen as just as good to get half as far”. While we are at it, let’s stop feeding ourselves this narrative too. Not to say that there isn’t any truth in it, but does it serve us well? Read my LinkedIn article to find out what makes me think this is unhelpful, even if it is your current reality or their likely future reality.

Disability: Asset based thinking: Shifting from deficit to valuable difference. 

24 January 2024


An image of balance scales the lower scale holding the word deficit. the higher holding the word asset.


Too often disability is framed within a deficit model. I advocate taking an asset-based approach to disability. I say, let’s focus on what we bring, then where relevant what we need in order to bring it. On our personal development programme, we call out deficit model thinking and explore how we position ourselves to highlight what we bring as a direct result of our lived experience. In my latest LinkedIn article I share how this works and provide examples of how it can be transformative. Head over to read the full article and check out our PDP (personal/professional development programme) pages for more information.


Simply Open Awards 2022

16 December 2022

The Simply Open Awards 2022 celebrate the innovative ways disabled folk navigate barriers and manage challenges that arise from our impairments and health conditions. I recently found out my entry won! If you are wondering how my winning elastic band life hack works watch the video  (38 mins). They are all worth a watch (the plant hack relating to mental health is my personal fav).






Disability: the narrative is still valid, but it bores me

30 October 2022

This is my third post where I expand on what I chose to include in my recently updated LinkedIn profile.


“I am not interested in trotting out the usual disability narrative; it’s still valid, but it bores me and I think you should expect more”.


I totally get that disabled people have plenty to legitimately moan about. I understand, and even agree that this is the right course of action sometimes. Discrimination, exclusion and poor practise needs calling out, as it remains too often the experience of too many.


When people repeatedly hear the same thing said in the same way they inevitably switch off, even when it’s valid.


Creating change requires extensive ‘buy-in’ from a wide range of stakeholders. To be heard, and then listened to, we need to be prepared to tell our stories differently, reframe our messages and re-consider our approach.


I work largely with disabled professionals and organisations around inclusive workplaces and career progression.


Reframing workplace adjustments.

I find framing the conversation about workplace adjustments in-part around performance helps present a different perspective. It takes the needy, charity sting from the conversation which disabled professionals like.


Disabled professionals I work with want to do their best at work. They want to add value and do a good job. Guess what…. that is also what the managers we work with want too. Finding mutual ground is a great place to start, ‘I want what you want, so let’s talk about this’.


Disabled professionals tend to find it more comfortable to frame a request as, ‘this is what I need in order to be as effective as I can be’. For line managers it makes sense to frame workplace adjustments as, ‘if I give you this, you can work better, smarter, more accurately etc’.


We suggest line managers take the view:

  • If providing an adjustable desk means you can manage your pain better and therefore produce better work over longer periods, then it is worth consideration.
  • If giving you an additional rest break means you return able to function better, then that is worth consideration.
  • If working from home means you can focus and produce your best work, then that is worth consideration.


If disabled professionals ask for what they need, without shame and frame it as a business need, they are prioritising effectiveness. If managers don’t implement what is required to work effectively then, arguably they are complicit in any underperformance.


An asset-based approach

I’ve come across disabled people who have totally nailed the asset-based approach. They have recognised what living and working with their impairments and health conditions give them and use it to great effect. This asset-based approach is particularly effective in recruitment. We know disabled people who say, ‘you are looking for these key skills, living with my impairment means I demonstrate these all day everyday’. Suddenly, the recruiter is viewing their disability as a reason to employ them. We talk in these terms on our personal/career development programme and frequently hear from past delegates who reframe how they think about what they have, present their disability in-line with their new thinking and get promoted.


Recruiters and line managers can adopt this approach too. Where appropriate (and legal) ask disabled candidates, ‘what does your lived experience give you?’  then, ‘what do you need to be effective?’.


#Disability #Inclusion #Diversity #WorkplaceAdjustments #DisabilityConversation 


Why the name?