On Tuesday 28 July, our first live accessmatters session took place. We launched accessmatters as a platform to encourage listening, sharing of experience, learning from best practice, and collaboration on the actions that will have greatest positive impact.
For our first virtual event we were joined by Sara Hawthorn, founder and managing director of InFusion Comms and founder of the DisAbility PR Network. Sara is a champion of diversity and her agency recently received the Blueprint Ally Status mark.
Sara told us about her background and gave us insight into life as a deaf individual, from the wonders of BiCROS hearing aids being able to open up the world to her, to the frustration of speaking habits she’s encountered – the big one being don’t cover your mouth when you speak!
InFusion Comms is a small tech agency based in Leeds with an all-female team (for now!) that brings with it questions around improving diversity, encouraging and retaining local talent and how the PR industry can support comms professionals with disabilities.
Sara gave us plenty to think about, especially when it comes to recruitment and making sure the process is accessible to everyone, but also making sure we call out discriminatory behavior when we see it, either by speaking to the person or a line manager.
We had lots of interaction from the audience, which was really positive and there were a great mix of questions coming in, from how to deliver PR campaigns that were inclusive of all abilities to how to support people with disabilities in PR teams and agencies.
Sara gave useful and practical advice, especially when it comes to making sure your events (both in-person and virtual) are accessible to all and shared some great resources from Ideas for Ears.
Vuelio will review how it hosts internal events from now on, starting with adding captions to the recording of this session and reviewing our content and future sign up pages.
Watch our first accessmatters session with Sara Hawthorn in full here.
If you would like to be featured on our accessmatters platform either as a live event or providing content please get in touch with Rebecca Potts.