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Workplaces that work for everyone. managing disabilities in the workplace: openness, adjustments and everything else!


Breakfast Seminar

Tuesday 4th December; 9.00am – 10.30am

Hosted by Herbert Smith Freehills; Central London

Whilst progressive employers recognise the importance of providing support for all of their employees to enable them to unlock their potential, knowing what types of support and adjustments to provide for those with a disability isn’t always clear. And neither is knowing how to source them and how they will actually work in practice.

To enlighten you on these questions we will be joined by individuals who will share their own experiences of disability and how they manage this in the workplace. The focus will be on the adjustments that have been made for them in the workplace, the purpose of them and the benefits they provide. As well as enabling you to learn more about the various support and adjustments that can be provided you will also have the opportunity to learn about the different approaches that organisations take to disability and how they support their disabled employees.

There will be plenty of opportunities to engage in conversations with these individuals, to ask the questions you have, and have the chance to learn more about subjects that are currently a mystery to most of us. The session will build your knowledge in order that you have a better understanding of certain disabilities, as well as of adjustments and considerations in the workplace.


o   Disability and student life
Helen Cooke, Director, My Plus Consulting, will start the seminar by sharing some insights she has gained in this area.

o   First hand experience
In small groups, individuals will talk about their personal experiences of having a disability and the implications for themselves.

o   Discussion
This is the opportunity for recruiters to discuss in more depth what they have heard and to consider the implications on how they attract, recruit and support disabled students.


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James Martin

James is the European Sales Support and Bid Manager at Enterprise Holdings, working for the company for more than 21 years and holding multiple positions during this time. Having lived with depression and anxiety for more than 25 years, James received a formal diagnosis nearly 10 years ago, having been forced to take an extended leave of absence.

James is passionate about raising awareness of mental health, helping to break the stigma that still exists (especially in the workplace) and ensuring that mental health needs is treated on an equal footing with other diversity strands.

In order to promote a more open environment for all employees, he talks openly about his own experiences and he is a Champion for Time to Change, the growing social movement that exists to transform how we all think and act about mental health problems. James is driving Enterprise’s efforts to sign the Time to Change Pledge and, as a member of the Disability Strand of the Diversity Team, organises company events around significant Mental Health days.

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James Phoenix

James is currently an Associate in the Linklaters London Dispute Resolution department, having joined the firm as a trainee in 2014.

James has a chronic pain condition which he has managed since he was fifteen and is also dyspraxic. James is part of the Linklaters’ Visability network for disability and mental health and has shared his experiences of working with a disability with colleagues and students as part of internal and external campaigns and events.


Krishna Kakkaiyadi

Krishna is a solicitor in the Intellectual Property group at Herbert Smith Freehills and advises multi-national pharmaceutical companies in cross-border patent disputes. He holds a first degree in Biomedical Sciences from the National University of Singapore, a degree in Law from the School of Excellence in Law in India and a first class Masters' degree in Law from Cambridge.

When he was 13, Krishna was diagnosed with membranoproliferative glomerulonephritis (MPGN –Type II), an autoimmune, slow-progressing chronic kidney condition that causes one's kidneys to lose their filtering capabilities and eventual kidney failure. He has spent the last 20 years of his life across three different countries, through two kidney transplants, countless haemodialysis sessions, dietary and fluid restrictions, all with the help of his close family and friends. In his time with MPGN, Krishna has fielded the entire range of responses from people when they first hear about his condition – from shock to genuine concern to sympathy to ignorance ("Is it infectious?"). He is therefore keen to raise awareness of kidney health issues, hidden disabilities and most importantly, every person's own unique potential and resilience to achieve their personal goals against the odds

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Ricky Vachhani

Ricky is a Data Analytics Manager within the Risk team at EY, starting as a graduate there 6 years ago.  He advises clients on how to best leverage their data and drive insights using analytics-based decision making.  Ricky has had a stammer since early childhood, which means his speech often sounds disfluent.  There is no cure for stammering, however, continued speech therapy can help to manage the internal and external implications of it. 

Since joining EY, Ricky has become a chair of the EY Stammering Network, which reaches over 40 people and has also been involved in the Employers’ Stammering Network which is a network across several organisations aiming to bring together people who stammer from different industries.  The aim is to not only support the 1% of the population who do stammer, but educate the 99% who do not, by highlighting the strengths of people who stammer (PWS)

Sarah Viner has been at UBS since 1987.  Having worked in various areas she is now an Executive Director in the IB Sales & Trading Legal function.  In January 2001 Sarah suffered from renal failure but was extremely lucky to benefit from a kidney transplant in September of the same year.  Sarah is now Co-Chair of the Ability Awareness network and is keen to raise the profile of the network both internally and externally as an enthusiastic supporter of Diversity & Inclusion initiatives.  Sarah is also a volunteer for Guide Dogs for the Blind and member of the Barts London Transplant Sport team and is a medallist at the 2018 British Transplant Games in both swimming and golf.

Breakfast Seminars are exclusively for members of the Recruiter’s Club. They are ideal for anyone wishing to build their understanding of different types of disabilities and the impact it can have on the individual from study, extra curricular activities and the workplace.

MyPlus Recruiters’ Club Platinum and Gold members are entitled to 2 complimentary places.

If space permits additional places may be available to Platinum and Gold members. Alternatively additional places may be purchased by members at a reduced price of £175 +VAT

Silver members may purchase places at a reduced price of £175 + VAT

Contact to purchase places.