I’m having a hybrid research event on 7th March!

This announcement is a bit delayed, because of various setbacks with the planning, but I am now happy and excited to announce that I am going to be holding a hybrid event about disabled people and co-ops at the University of Leeds on Tuesday 7th March 2023.

Banner image for my research event. On the left a drawing of a researcher at a desk with a computer and documents, on the right a diverse group of disabled people with the Co-op Marque above them, on a pastel yellow and green background. At the top is the text "Date change due to UCU strikes - now Tuesday 7th March!". At the bottom are the logos for the Centre for Employment Relations, Innovation and Change (CERIC), Centre for Disability Studies and Independent Social Research Foundation.

The event was originally going to be on 21st February, but this had to be changed due to the announcement of the UCU strike dates last week. Luckily both CERIC (the research centre I am in at the University) and the ISRF (my funders) were OK with the date being pushed back into March (and therefore technically after the end of my visiting researcher status).

The full timetable for the event is still being worked out, but it’s looking good! It will start at 12.00 (with the room being open and refreshments available from 11.30) and finish at 5, with 3 main parts to the event with breaks between:

  • I will present the findings of my research. There will hopefully also be a research report available in physical and digital formats in time for the event.
  • There will be panel discussions on the potential for disabled people of different types of co-ops, including housing, workers and multi-stakeholder co-ops, with speakers from those types of co-ops and space for open discussion.
  • The event will end with a discussion of how to build a network of disabled co-operators and disability-focused co-ops and how to make concrete moves towards both making existing co-ops better at meeting disabled people’s needs and setting up new co-ops of or centred around disabled people.
Black and white drawing representing a workshop and presentation. On the left a group of people sit and stand around a table with documents and a flip chat. On the right as wheelchair user presents to an audience with the Co-op Marque and international disability symbol on a projector screen. Image adapted from Change's Easy Read image bank.

People are welcome to come to the whole event or to as much or little of it as they like. If you want to come, please register here on Eventbrite (selecting either the online or in-person option).

It will be free to attend both in person and online (registration is just for keeping track of numbers), and will make as much use as possible of the hybrid facilities in the room so that online participants will have as full an experience of the event as possible. I struggled quite a bit with the various ethical, political and access factors to consider in putting on an event in person versus online (I may write another post about this!), but ultimately concluded that, while no option was perfect, having a hybrid event was the best possible compromise between the considerations of many different subgroups of disabled people.

The event is open to all, but I’d like to make sure that disabled people who are either already involved or interested in being involved in co-ops are prioritised – therefore, there will be a small budget for covering travel and access costs for disabled people for whom these costs would otherwise be a barrier to attending in person. If this applies to you, please contact me!

While this event is being held at the University of Leeds, I want to make clear that it is definitely not (just) an “academic” event. My presentation will probably be the most academic bit, but I’m going to do my best to make it as accessible and non-theory-heavy as possible, concentrating on practical impact and how to make things happen in reality. It will (hopefully!) be of interest to researchers and students in disability studies and co-operative studies, but also (perhaps mainly) to disabled people and allies who are in co-ops or interested in getting into, or starting, co-ops.

Please do spread the word about this event in your networks and to anyone with an interest in disability and/or co-ops! Also, if you are a member of a co-op or other relevant organisation and you’d like there to be some information about your organisation at the event, please let me know.

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