Blog: #PurpleTalk – My pride in becoming a disability confident role model, Liz Jessop, KMPG
#PurpleTalk – My pride in becoming a disability confident role model, Liz Jessop, KMPG
In the lead up to International Day of Disabled People, we are helping disabled employees to share their stories about success and inclusion at work through our #PurpleTalk campaign. We’re working with PurpleSpace members Fujitsu and KPMG with support from our charity partner Shaw Trust. Liz Jessop, Audit Assistant at KMPG and member of the organisations Workability network talks about overcoming the fear of sharing information about her disability at work and her pride in becoming a disability confident role model.
"I was a very ill child, I spent most of my childhood in and out of hospital with no answers as to what was “wrong” with me. I was finally diagnosed at 15 at Manchester Genetics Hospital with a heredity condition which effects the connective tissues of the joints and the organs.
I spent even longer trying to hide my condition when I joined KPMG in 2013 on the School Leaver Program, and was so scared that I would be treated differently for my condition that I did not tell my team what I needed to help me work at my best. I was not aware at that point the wide range of policies and services KPMG offered their Disabled staff.
My condition gradually declined and I was no longer able to hide it. I was put in touch with occupational health who gave me a comprehensive set of adjustments which has helped immensely. Joining the Workability Network at KPMG has given me the support I needed to feel confident about my disability.
Young people do not have many positive disabled role models or understand what their rights are. I feel this is something that needs to change. I recently organized the Disabled Students’ Forum at the University of Exeter. This gave disabled students the opportunity to meet and ask questions of a range of disabled employees from different career paths. I hope this removed some of the stigma and fear surrounding disability in the workplace for both my disabled and non-disabled peers at University.
I am now proud to say I am disabled, and will continue to work raising awareness of Disability and Disabled Rights."