Disability today and tomorrow: Living in a post-pandemic worldShare via facebook Share via twitter Share via linkedin Share via email
Date: Wednesday 14 and Thursday 15 October 2020
Time: 9.30am to 4pm BST (both days)
Welcome to Business Disability Forum’s annual conference, generously sponsored by our Partner HSBC.
This year, we’re delighted to bring you a two-day virtual conference and we invite you to join us, wherever you are, as we discuss and debate the most important topics affecting businesses and disabled people in a post-pandemic world.
Find out how to register below. It’s free for our Partners and Members.
Business disability debates: work, life and leisure in a post-pandemic society – building on the positives of lockdown and tackling the negatives
No one could have predicted, nor did they welcome, the Covid-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdown, yet in the time it has taken place, it has yielded unexpected benefits for some. With the majority of the workforce working from home for the past few months, there aren’t many employers that have a reasonable justification for demanding a return to “traditional” office life.
Our panel will explore: is one of the positives that employers can and should allow more employees, disabled or not, to work from home either permanently or periodically? Does being out of the workplace and change of environment bring more creativity and productivity to an organisation?
On the flip side, and with mixed news on productivity from the ONS, working from home and staying physically apart has had its drawbacks. Isolation and the challenges of staying in touch, checking in on people, and coping have been at the forefront.
So as lockdowns ease – for some of us at least – join us as we discuss how we can keep up, capitalise and build on the trust and flexibility of working from home and the community spirit that has sprung up as neighbours and colleagues look out for one another, while challenging the negatives of loneliness, isolation and the inability to switch off after working hours.
Technology: High tech, low tech, no tech
How different would this pandemic and lockdown have been even a decade or two ago? Technology has allowed many people to retain jobs and connections with family, friends and the wider world as we’ve stayed in our homes – and enabled us to talk, shop and find ways to entertain ourselves or learn new skills from home.
Yet the lockdown hasn’t been the same experience for everyone, while some disabled people are tech savvy and completely at home with the world of technology, others have had a steep learning curve, and some still remain “no tech” needing to shop, bank and work in person.
Join us as our panel discusses the learnings from the past few months and ways in which to ensure that we leave no one behind as we emerge into a new post-pandemic world.
Legal: adjusting to adjustments today
Businesses have become familiar with the term reasonable adjustment or accommodation but what does “reasonable” now mean?
Providing assistance to disabled customers, enabling colleagues and customers to lip read and even the definition of disability has been challenged by Covid-19.
Listen in as our Head of Legal looks at what “reasonable” might mean now as well as discussing the post-pandemic impact of the end of furlough schemes, return to workplaces and combating the risk of redundancy for disabled people.
Business disability global debates: Disability in tomorrow’s world
The virus forced us to think globally but to live locally. Will this continue and what will this mean for global brands? From the energy sector and manufacturing to airlines and the travel industry, might there be some unexpected benefits that emerge from the drastic and sudden effects of a worldwide lockdown?
It’s likely that a global recession is ahead and while the UN Sustainable Development Goals are built on the principle that no one should be left behind, it has been the case that disabled people are more severely impacted by recessions than almost any other group.
Join us as we discuss what can we do to prevent that happening this time and to ensure that as the world moves forward out of lockdown disabled people are not left behind.
Mental health and wellbeing
We welcome back Dr. Wolfgang Seidl – who gave an insightful and very popular talk at our Scottish Conference in January – to discuss how the pandemic and lockdown has affected our mental health and wellbeing.
According to The Lancet by late April 2020, mental health in the UK had deteriorated compared with pre-COVID-19 trends.
Has the pandemic forced us to concentrate on what is really important? What can employers do help support the mental health and wellbeing of colleagues and what can we all do to support each other to ensure that we emerge into a kinder more empathetic post-pandemic world?
Join us as Wolfgang and our panel debate some of the positives and negatives this period has brought and how we can all work together to build a better, mentally healthier world.
Be sure to take a look at the page regularly as we update with the latest line-up of speakers and panellists.
Just fill in the event registration form below to book your place at our virtual event of the year.
Meet our speakers
Disability Lead for Workforce Strategy at BBC
Global Executive Vice President and Chief Global Diversity and Inclusion Officer at Unilever
Accessibility Manager at British Airways
Head of Content, Legal and Campaigns at Business Disability Forum
Commercial Strategy Manager at Sainsbury’s and Chair of EnAble, Sainsbury's Disability Network
Global Taskforce and Partner Development Manager at Business Disability Forum
Founder and Creator of The Valuable 500
Public Services Editor at The Guardian
CEO of Ruh Global Impact and Co-Founder at AXSChat
CEO of Business Disability Forum
Accessibility Evangelist at Microsoft
Age and Disability Expert
Lord Kevin Shinkwin
Advice Service Manager at Business Disability Forum
Taskforce Manager at Business Disability Forum
Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer at Shell
Global Head of Accessibility at Atos
CEO of City Mental Health Alliance
CEO of Freeney Williams Ltd
Learning and Development Manager at Business Disability Forum
Director of Sminty
Customer Disability Manager at Lloyds Banking Group
Head of Equality and Diversity at the Royal College of Nursing
Dr Wolfgang Seidl
Partner and Workplace Health Consulting Leader at Mercer Marsh Benefits