This page is a printable version of: https://www.iow.nhs.uk/news/Havingtherightsupportatworkhasmadesuchadifference.htm
Date: 02 June 2023
As part of Disability History Month we have been sharing a number of staff stories to highlight their personal experiences of the support they have received in their personal and professional lives. In our final installment, that marks the end of Disability History Month, we share staff member Neil Fradgley's story:
"My name is Neil and as well as working as Head of Performance Information and Decision Support I am also a former Chartered Statistician and have a MSc in Leadership and Management.
"Our team is responsible for providing business intelligence and reporting across all areas of the organisation and this can range from daily information returns to NHS England, to predicting healthcare demand across the Island for the next 5 years.
"Throughout Disability History Month I have been reading the stories on staff with disabilities across our social media and internal communications with interest. Having been registered visually impaired from birth it is always good to hear how others are using there experience to educate others. So here is my story!"
"I have been registered with a visual impairment since birth and more recently have been registered blind. People will often ask “what can you see?” and this is always difficult to answer as I do not know what vision is like for an able-bodied person. The easiest way I can describe it is that I can just about read a car licence plate at around 2 metres or just about read the second line on an eye chart.
"The world for a visually impaired person has become so much more difficult during the pandemic. Knowing which way go when out and about is not always easy and of course a lot of ordering is done via an app. I have now started to use a white stick when in crowded areas or places I am not familiar with. Our Trust have been fantastic at providing me with what I need to be able to work. I have a larger screen, magnifying mouse and use a hand-held magnifier when reading.
"I am also lucky to have a very supportive team and line manager. This has not always been the case and in previous organisations and I have experienced managers who have stated they would not have employed me had they known I was visually impaired. Luckily I managed to change their impression!
"It makes such a difference to have good support as I think as a disabled person you have to be better than average to have parity in your employment, which is unfair and unfortunately something I have had experienced.
"Having a disability does not have to be a totally negative experience. I have been fortunate enough to represent my country in both football and tennis and am still ranked number 2 in the world in my tennis sight category. Both of these are opportunities I would undoubtedly not have had had I been able-bodied.
"I believe that having a disabled member of staff in your team can lead others to think differently and ultimately lead to a real benefit. All that is needed is a little consideration, patience and thought in the way we work."
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