How to create an inclusive workplace

This FREE webinar took place on 28 September at 1 pm BST

How do you create an inclusive workspace? This webinar explored the role of digital accessibility in creating an inclusive workplace, including:

  • How has Covid impacted the workplace for disabled people?
  • How can technology make the workplace more accessible to all?
  • What are the pros and cons of a hybrid office- and home-based workplace for disabled people?

Meet the panellists

We heard from leading experts, including Peter Macdonald Hall from Vercida and Dr Heather J.L Smith from the National Trust.

Peter Macdonald Hall, Vercida

Peter is Principal Consultant at Vercida and is highly respected as a subject matter expert on culture change, workplace diversity & inclusion, unconscious bias, inclusive leadership and learning and development.

His career in HR, OD and diversity and inclusion spans over twenty years, including senior roles in the Private, Charity and Public sectors – most notably as a Director for Diversity and Inclusion within a boutique recruitment firm in the City of London.

His achievements include gaining accreditation and awards for organisation and national and international culture change benchmarks, such as the Stonewall Workplace Equality Index (Top 100 Employers) and The Equality Framework for Local Government.

As Director for Diversity and Inclusion, he was responsible for developing, implementing, delivering consultancy and training for all diversity and inclusion programmes. Peter also designed and developed the iiBT (Investment Industry Benchmark Tracker) for the Investment Management and Savings industry.  More recently, he wrote the VERCIDA guide on disability by design: 6 ways to foster inclusion at work, covering best practices in creating a disability-inclusive culture in today’s diverse workplace.

VERCIDA stands for Values, Equality, Respect, Culture, Inclusion, Diversity, Accessibility. 

The organisation’s mission is “to transform the workplace into a diverse and inclusive environment.” It uses science and psychology to underpin its approach to inclusive management. It assists clients worldwide to challenge traditional ways of thinking about diversity and inclusion and prepare businesses for the future of work.

Dr Heather J.L Smith, Equality Specialist for the National Trust

Heather is the Equality Specialist for the National Trust for England, Wales and Northern Ireland (the Trust).  She has worked at the Trust for several years, holding positions responsible for advising on equality, diversity, and access for disabled people as employees, volunteers, members, and visitors across the Trust’s diverse portfolio of historic properties. Her current work includes leading for accessibility in the Trust’s Everyone Welcome strategic programme of organisational development.

Before working for the National Trust, Heather worked in a contemporary art centre in Scotland and completed her PhD, researching provisions in museums and art galleries for blind and partially sighted people, something of personal relevance to her. 

Heather has other personal experiences of disability through caring for her partner in his journey through Motor Neurone Disease.

Heather is a Clore Social Fellow, a Mental Health First Aider, and an Associate Member of the CIPD. She is a trustee of the Motor Neurone Disease Association for England, Wales, and Northern Ireland and Enrych, a charity supporting disabled people into leisure and learning opportunities. In March 2019, Heather became the inaugural Disability Access Ambassador for Countryside and Heritage as part of a team of Disability Access Ambassadors supporting the Cabinet Office Disability Unit.

Teresa Loftus, Assessment Team Manager, AbilityNet

Teresa has worked for AbilityNet since 2012 delivering workplace assessments and disabled student assessments. 

Teresa has a background in Assistive Technology (AT) training and support to students with a visual impairment in mainstream schools and holds a Post Graduate Certificate in Ergonomics. She is a National Association of Disability Practitioner (NADP) Accredited. She has 20 years of AT experience and continuous professional development that supports a belief in equality for all at work, home, and education. Teresa recognises that Assistive Technologies is forever evolving and improving, so stays abreast of these through regular training events and research.

In her spare time, Teresa enjoys walking through glorious Gloucestershire and eating ice cream!  

Back to School offer: Save 20% in September
With schools and universities starting again this month, could you and your staff also go back to school to boost your accessibility skills?
Use the code Workplace20 to get 20% off our ‘Accessibility for HR’ courses.


Date of webinar: 
28 Sep 2021 - 13:00