Research Impact ripples

A delegate speaks at TUC Disabled Workers Conference
A delegate speaks at TUC Disabled Workers Conference 2016 © Natasha Hirst

Through my involvement with CURED and the numerous fascinating discussions that have taken place with academics, consumers of research and practitioners, slowly connections start being made and new ways of getting messages out present themselves.

I attended the TUC Disabled Workers’ Conference 2016, and unsurprisingly there was much discussion about barriers to employment and access to education and training opportunities for disabled people. The importance of unions in protecting workers rights and challenging discriminatory practices in workplaces is obviously crucial to those involved in the trade union movement. Lay reps, as opposed to union research or casework officers, may not directly consume research. Yet research findings still need to reach them. Unions may provide briefings but reps often don’t have the time to absorb as much material as they’d like, on a wide range of competing issues.

When speaking to a motion I had the opportunity to raise awareness of the work of Cardiff University regarding ill-treatment in the workplace and reinforced the key message that disabled people were found to be the group most likely to experience discrimination and ill-treatment at work. In small ways and through utilising networks and events that exist in a range or organisations, it is possible to bring attention to research to large and new audiences in a way that is easily absorbed.

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