Reflecting Disability: Representation of Disabled People in UK Children's Books
Arts Council England (ACE) will fund a pilot project exploring the representation of disabled people in UK children’s books.
This builds on the CLPE’s Reflecting Realities research to quantify and evaluate the extent and quantity of ethnic representation in UK children’s publishing. This annual study of ethnic diversity in books has been going for five years now. Over this time, it’s been frequently pointed out that there is a need for a disability equivalent (i.e. quantitative and qualitative research around disability representation).
The project will be led by a steering group of disabled people who can influence the direction of the project and ensure development of robust and considered criteria and facilitated by Beth Cox and Alex Strick, both children’s book consultants who are late-identified neurodivergent. The steering group will also be supported by a core advisory team and wider network of people who can feed in on the evolving criteria and any particular questions outside the experience of the steering group.
The evolving criteria/outcomes will be shared at a discussion-based event at London Book Fair 2024 to collect still more feedback before deciding on the best way forward.
I'm delighted to have been accepted as an Associate Member of the Publishers Association. All applications are approved by the Council of the Publishers Association, which means that my business has been recognised as a preferred supplier.
Global Equality Collective
Joining the Global Equality Collective feels great. Not only am I shoulder to shoulder with some incredible people, but the Collective is at the forefront of bringing education around Diversity Equality and Inclusion to business and education, so it's a good fit!
More on the Collective here...
I founded Inclusive Minds® alongside Alexandra Strick in 2013. Inclusive Minds is a collaboration of consultants and campaigners with a passion for inclusion, diversity, equality and accessibility in children's literature.
The organisation was registered as a CIC in 2020 with three new directors, A M Dassu, Heather Lacey and Jessi Parrott.
Level Headers Books
I was delighted to be commissioned by b small publishing to develop, write, and edit a series of books to support children with their mental health. Working with Natalie Costa, founder of Power Thoughts, we developed activities to build self-esteem, self-worth and confidence to positively pre-empt worries and anxiety.
"Based on real-life techniques used in primary schools, the tone is positive without shame or blame and the bright graphics and interactive pages are highly accessible."
Research into how staff feel about making content inclusive.
In partnership with Westchester Education UK and International, I'm researching how children’s and educational publishing staff feel about creating inclusive content and receiving DEI and authenticity reviews, as well as the approach to inclusion within organisations, and the impact this has on them.
Research is being carried out via an anonymous survey, launched Monday 6th February 2023, aimed to capture data from a wide cross-section of in-house publishing staff in order to identify trends across the industry.
Read more about why this research is being carried out...
In 2021 I was commissioned by Mslexia magazine to write an article on sensitivity reading. I'm not a fan of the term, or the often last minute approach, and discuss this in depth in the article.
Do Good and Do Well Podcast
Recently Sarah Fox invited me on her podcast, Do Good & Do Well. We talked about the importance of seeking help and support, treating freelance work as a business, and losing yourself in work and motherhood. Sarah shares insights and stories from social and creative entrepreneurs and leaders to help you to feel inspired and reflect on what 'doing good AND doing well' means for you as a changemaker.
I loved having a chat with Sarah, I hope you enjoy listening too!
Balancing Cultures Podcast
I loved being interviewed by Meghan Kitchen for her Balancing Cultures Podcast. She's conducted so many fascinating podcasts, so once you've listened to mine, check out some of the others!