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A night to remember at the National Diversity Awards

By AIDS, biography, Blog, Disability, Diversity, HIV/AIDS, Inclusion, memoir, Storytelling, UncategorisedNo Comments

I was flabbergasted when I learned that I had been shortlisted for the 2019 National Diversity Awards (NDA).

To be one of 124 nominees after a record number of nearly 30,000 people entered, is no small feat.

I had long been campaigning for disability rights after beating the odds to recover from a late diagnosis of HIV back in 2006.  I had been given just two weeks to live; this was a turning point in my life, to say the least.

It spurred me on to set up my own company, Luminate, as a Disability Development Consultant, to raise awareness of HIV and hidden disabilities.

I felt both delighted and humbled to have received a nomination for the Positive Role Model Award for Disability. Read More

August 2019: Diversity Training

By Diversity, UncategorisedNo Comments

Did you know … after one hour, people retain less than half of the information presented. After one day, people forget more than 70% of what was taught in training. After six days, people forget 75% of the information in their training.

Why You Shouldn’t Force People to Attend Diversity Training

You might be thinking that the title of this issue of Search Light is a little controversial – but if it caught your attention, then please do read on. I believe that everyone should attend and will benefit from attending diversity training. Problems arise when people are forced – by their manager or organisation in general – to attend the training. Read More

What is Normal, Anyway?

By DiversityNo Comments

Our culture tells us that putting across an image of being organised, poised and polished will enable us to convince others that we are what they perceive as ‘normal’. Living in the UK we have to show a stiff upper lip and not let on what’s really happening. Our culture also encourages us to become impatient and angry with ourselves when we don’t live up to the expectations of other people. We need to buck up, get it together and stop being so weak or so weird. We need to be normal.

Is this really the best way to live our lives? And what is ‘normal’ anyway? Here’s one take on it, from someone who will probably never be normal! Read More

Shine a Light in the Darkness

By biography, Diversity, gay, HIV/AIDS, living, memoir, sexual orientationOne Comment

I am writing a book, publication date Spring 2018.

My book is a story of real triumph over adversity, and my hope is that by reading it, you will immediately receive the reassurance you need that you too can find a way through the tough times. I hit rock bottom, and wanted to end it all, but I didn’t. So if you are struggling, let my words be of comfort to you. I got through, and you will too. Read More

How inclusive am I/are we?

By Disability, DiversityNo Comments

As someone who is living with life-changing neurological disabilities, brought on by progressive multifocal leukoencephalitis, I know what it is like to speak to people who see my disability as a barrier, or who react awkwardly when the topic is brought up. It is as frustrating now as it was 10 years ago, when I was first diagnosed with HIV and AIDS. Saying this, there is an argument that, with a little guidance, people would feel completely comfortable talking to a disabled person – they just worry about doing or saying something wrong. Read More

Disability confidence

By Disability, DiversityNo Comments

Disability is often (mis)aligned with inability in the workplace: if an employee has an accident that leaves them with a physical impairment, gets diagnosed with a life-changing disease, or has a mental disability that means they work in a different way, people might see them as less capable than other workers. In fact, one in six people who become disabled lost their job within the first year of their disability (   Read More