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Jennifer Bartlett | Cambridge, UK
Positive Role Model (Disability)

Jennifer is a chartered health, safety, fire, accessibility and wellbeing professional. She is also a disabled woman and an enthusiastic voice for equality and diversity issues.

Jenni has had a hidden disability due to a neurological condition since age six. In July 2013 Jenni developed an energy-limiting chronic illness following a virus. Jenni uses a power wheelchair to get around but, on the average week, she spends at least 80% of her time lying down. This is necessary to help her to manage the symptoms of her condition. She has been assessed by the NHS as having about 25% of the energy of a healthy person.

In July 2014, Jenni returned to her (now part-time, predominantly home-based) role as a Health, Safety and Wellbeing Advisor for a local government authority. As well as her other safety work, Jenni developed several health and safety processes to help her employer support disabled employees more effectively. These included a Supporting Attendance Risk Assessment process (to identify reasonable adjustments), Personal Emergency Evacuation Plan form, and Guidance on Menopause at Work. Jenni also wrote a bespoke e-learning course on Reasonable Adjustments – Supporting Employees at Work, which has been very well received.

In 2017 Jenni became a part of her employer’s Equality and Diversity Network. The Network supports, raises awareness, and represents the views of staff and elected Members with protected characteristics (under the Equality Act 2010) within the local authority. As a member of the E&D Network, Jenni has led several projects to support the local authority to continue to improve its approach to equality and diversity. They include devising a more robust Equality Impact Assessment process, using the Equality and Human Rights Commission’s report ‘Is Britain Fairer’ to influence the Equality and Diversity Strategy action plan, and improving the IT procurement process to improve consideration of compatibility with accessibility software. She has also helped to raise the profile of equality and diversity within the organisation more generally, by being an engaging and passionate advocate for inclusion and equality for all.

In 2015 Jenni began studying an MSc in Workplace Health and Wellbeing via distance learning. She completed her studies in 2018 and is expected to graduate with distinction in July 2019. Since March 2018 Jenni has also volunteered health and safety support to her local community centre.

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