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Raising Awareness on Disability and Accessibility

12pm - 2pm, 10th November 2021, Online

Raising Awareness on Disability and Accessibility. This event will be a panel discussion with Lord Shinkwin and Professor Kim Hoque to highlight and explore all the work they have been doing as part of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Disability. This will be followed with insights from Paul Smyth about his work at Barclays and personal reflections. The audience will have the opportunitiy to ask questions to find out more from the speakers.

Kevin Shinkwin entered the House of Lords in November 2015. Prior to that, he had spent almost his entire career in charity public affairs and campaigning.

He focuses on two policy areas in particular – disability equality, especially equality of opportunity, and Holocaust Remembrance, the latter in memory of the orthopaedic surgeon who optimised his life chances and whose extended family lost their lives in the Shoah.

He co-authored Able to Excel ( with his colleague, George Relph, and recently chaired the Centre for Social Justice Disability Commission (2020-21), which published a major report in March 2021 (

Kim Hoque is Professor of Human Resource Management at Warwick Business School. He researches and teaches in the areas of disability, equalities, and human resource management more broadly. He co-provides the secretariat to the All Party Parliamentary Group for Disability on behalf of Warwick Business School, is a co-founder of the Disability@Work group, was a Commissioner on the Centre for Social Justice’s Disability Commission, and is a founder member of the Disability Employment Charter. He is on the editorial boards of Journal of Management, Human Relations and Industrial Relations Journal. He has worked closely in recent years with organisations including the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, NHS Scotland, the UK Commission for Employment and Skills, the Japan Institute of Labour Policy and Training, and the Trades Union Congress.

Paul Smyth, MBE is the head of Digital Accessibility at Barclays, tasked with identifying and addressing barriers faced by disabled and older customers and colleagues using the bank’s digital services.

Since leaving Warwick Business School, he joined Barclays graduate scheme and has had a number of roles in Finance and Risk. Being visually impaired, he helped establish the bank’s disability staff network and for the last decade has helped lead their accessibility efforts.

He’s pioneered new innovative services to help disabled customers do their banking – from talking ATM’s, virtual sign language interpreter services to more simple and inclusive security. By engaging and testing with disabled people, Barclays website and mobile apps provide a great experience to a greater number of customers. Many other businesses are realising the business benefit of accessibility –from increased customer experience and reach, bolstering brand, reducing legal/compliance risks and fostering a diverse and engaged workforce.

Paul’s also established better and broader support for colleagues impacted by disability, mental health or neurodiverse conditions – from reasonable adjustments to a thriving staff network.

As an expert on accessibility and inclusive design, Paul will share his personal story and advice for students transitioning into the workplace, he’ll highlight the business benefits that accessibility brings and provide a practical overview of this growing but poorly understood agenda.

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Image fo Lord ShinkwinImage of Kim HoqueImage of Paul Smyth