It’s time to let disabled people tell their own story in their way, without an assisted viewpoint! So, to mark Disability Pride Month, the not-for-profit organisation Business Disability Forum (BDF) launched “If you don’t mind me asking….”, a new eight-part podcast and web series.
This intimate podcast, hosted by Lucy Ruck, Head of the Business Disability Forum Task Force, and Daniel Cadey, Senior Disability Business Partner, explores the personal working lives of disabled people.
The first episode began with the two hosts talking about their experiences of disability. Their aim is to tell how they see themselves and open a conversation without stigma, where they are viewed as human beings with full potential.
Lucy Ruck shared what it means to live as a right leg amputee below the knee after being hit by a moving train at 65mph in 1993. She spoke about chronic pain and how to manage it mentally and physically.
Her co-host, Cadey, who is diagnosed with autism, shared how he manages his depression and high anxiety. He also talked about the issues and triggers he has faced in his career.
Sharing stories is an important part of this series, and all guests revealed all aspects of their lives as consumers, employees, in society and as unique individuals.
Many guests, such as actresses, tech workers or activists, are set to participate in the conversation. In one episode, Samantha Renke, activist, actress and presenter, talks about the condescending tone she faces.
In another, Michael Vermeersch, Accessibility Product Marketing Manager at Microsoft, who is diagnosed with autism, talks about the benefits for companies of hiring neurodiverse profiles.
As far as the workplace is concerned, all guests were reminded how people need to educate themselves and ask questions to be more inclusive, non-insulting and open with people with disabilities.
The podcasts will be published every two weeks from now until mid-October, according to the schedule below.
- 13 July – Lucy Ruck and Daniel Cadey (BDF presenters)
- 27 July – Samantha Renke, campaigner, actress, and broadcaster
- 10 August – Michael Vermeersch , Microsoft
- 24 August – LaMondre Pough, Billion Strong
- 7 September – Heather Lacey nosuperhero.co.uk
- 21 September – George Wright, BDF Advice Service
- 5 October – Matthew Johnson, Thoughtworks
- 19 October – Kathy Martinez, Disability Rights Advocates (US)