For International Day of Persons with Disabilities 2021, Stacy Masucci, publisher for bioscience and translational medicine at Elsevier speaks to Richard Mankin and Kate Nash about the challenges, barriers and opportunities for people who live with disabilities in the context of the global pandemic.
Richard is a research entomologist with the US Department of Agriculture. He uses crutches to get around since his legs are missing several muscles and require braces. His research focuses on detecting and controlling hidden insect infestations. He also works on questions about how insects use the senses of smell and sound in communication. As a person with a physical disability, he has endeavored to make persons aware that disabilities do not preclude societal contributions nor career success. They merely make such contributions more difficult. He serves on the governing board of the Entomological Society of America and is the President of the Foundation for Science and Disability.
Kate is the world's leading authority in 'Networkology' - the science behind the growth of workplace networks and resource groups. Most known for her work with disability networks, she set up an independent hub of best practice in the establishment of Disabled Employee Networks publishing the first best practice guide in 2009, with a Ministerial launch. In April 2014 her book 'Secrets & Big News' was published tackling the issue of 'disclosure' of disability and what employers can do to help people be themselves at work. 2,511 disabled employees from 55 employers took part in the research, sponsored by BT, Fujitsu, Metropolitan Police Service, Post Office and PWC. Kate launched PurpleSpace in October 2015 as the world's first professional development hub for disabled employee networks bringing together the 850,000 disabled employees from across employee networks. In 2007 she was awarded an OBE for services to disabled people. In 2013 she was appointed Ambassador to Disability Rights UK.