Kate Nash from Purple Space and David Caldwell from UK Home Office explore the role of disability staff networks in building partnership excellence within an organization. As part of this conversation, they touch on how accessibility leaders can support the development of disability staff networks, the role disability staff networks play in developing a culture of accessibility awareness, and how disability network leaders can be vital support and allies for accessibility leaders.
Please welcome Kate Nash and David Caldwell. Kate is the Head of Purple Space, the world’s networking and professional development hub for disabled employees, network, and resource group leaders.
David is the Head of Accessibility and Digital Inclusion at U.K. Home Office, a UK government department. His main focuses at the Home Office are accessibility strategy, policy, and assurance.
Today they will be discussing the role of disability staff networks in building partnership excellence within an organisation. They will touch on how accessible leaders can support the development of disability staff networks, the role disability staff networks play in developing a culture of accessibility awareness, and more!
My name is David. I'm -- I currently work at the Home Office in the UK as the head of accessibility and digital inclusion and I'm really pleased to be part of the strategic leader in accessibility working group, and today we'll be focusing on one of the domains that is inside the book of knowledge and as part of the work that we've been doing. The domain we are looking at is partnership excellence and we are focusing specifically on disability staff networks, and I can think of nobody else in the world better qualified to talk about disability staff networks than Kate Nash.
So, Kate, hello. Welcome. Give us a bit of an introduction.
Thank you, David.
A really great pleasure to be able to join you today. I was thoroughly excited to be able to join David in any conversation, but this of course is a subject so dear to my heart. I have the great pleasure of heading up Purple Space. It's a small social business and we set up in 2015 as a result of a book that I wrote some years ago, Secrets and Big News. And now we have a growing membership and what we do is support organizations, employers to set up and or to improve the effectiveness of their employee resource groups or networks and there is such cross over in terms of the wonderful work the access champions and access professionals are doing.
So, delighted to be here David. I think my picture, my photo is short hair. I think COVID has now meant we cannot go to hairdresser, but it is me and it is lovely to be with you. I am looking forward to this conversation.
We wanted to start today's session setting a bit of context about networks in the world that we live in right now and Kate, I know that Purple Space just before Christmas around the International day of Persons with Disabilities launched their impact report that looked at networks in the world of COVID. I wonder what are your thoughts about that and what are you seeing from networks around COVID in particular around accessibility and accessing company systems remotely.
Yeah, thank you. So, a few things, a few things. I mean in terms of the context of ERGs and networks, we're seeing massive growth, so organizations, whether they're global business or a local business within a specific jurisdiction, we're increasingly seeing that they're becoming vehicles to accelerate the pace of change when it comes to disability confidence, so as we know, most businesses or businesses of a certain size will have a diversity and inclusion professional specialist, and they often work across really large brief in order to build a more inclusive workp