S12E05: Disability in Conservation

Join us on a tranquil houseboat as we talk about being conservators with disabilities with special guest host Pierrette Squires. We share our various experiences and set the world to rights (with ducks in the background). Also tune in for a Dear Jane about accreditation, a tour of the new ‘Nothing About Us Without Us’ exhibition with Kloe, and a review of ‘The Routledge Companion to Art and Disability’ from Jenny.

00:01:35 Jenny’s experiences
00:03:53 Pierrette’s hearing loss
00:07:09 Kloe’s struggles
00:12:46 Relating to others and appreciating yourself
00:17:55 Shout out to placement students with disabilities
00:19:17 Are there more disabled conservators now?
00:21:01 Recruitment and the fear of discrimination
00:25:37 How to be a more supportive workplace
00:33:33 How flexible working has transformed our health
00:36:40 Training ahead of an exhibition
00:42:21 How society (and conservation) disables us
00:44:00 Reactions to disability and access issues
00:52:29 Disability represented in museum collections
00:58:18 Access for visitors: lights, touch, and adjustments
01:07:00 CPD issues
01:11:34 Discussion of the AIC report
01:20:37 Dear Jane
01:26:20 Review: The Routledge Companion to Art and Disability
01:32:29 Kloe takes us behind the scenes

Show Notes:
– Equality Act 2010: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/equality-act-2010-guidance
– Definition of disability under the Equality Act 2010: https://www.gov.uk/definition-of-disability-under-equality-act-2010
– Menieres disease: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/menieres-disease/
– S01E01 Demographics: https://thecword.show/2017/02/15/demographics/
– Adult ADHD screening test: https://adhduk.co.uk/adult-adhd-screening-survey/
– Work of the Icon Diversity & Inclusion Task & Finish Group: https://www.icon.org.uk/resource-report/diversity-and-inclusion-task-and-finish-group-report.html
– Exhibition about disabled people’s activism: https://phm.org.uk/exhibitions/nothing-about-us-without-us-3/
– Social vs medical model of disability: https://www.ombudsman.org.uk/sites/default/files/FDN-218144_Introduction_to_the_Social_and_Medical_Models_of_Disability.pdf
– Greater Manchester Coalition of Disabled People: https://gmcdp.com/
– Spoon theory: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spoon_theory
– S05E06 Touchy Feely: https://thecword.show/2019/05/29/s05e06-touchy-feely/
– Accessibility in Conservation Survey report from AIC: https://www.culturalheritage.org/docs/default-source/publications/reports/survey-reports/accessibility-in-conservation-report.pdf
– The Routledge Companion to Art and Disability: https://www.routledge.com/The-Routledge-Companion-to-Art-and-Disability/Watson-Hiles/p/book/9780367444785

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Hosted by Jenny Mathiasson, Kloe Rumsey, and Pierrette Squires.

Intro and outro music by DDmyzik, used under a Creative Commons Attribution license.

Made available under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International license.

A Wooden Dice production, 2022.


  1. Lydia

    Kloe. if you haven’t done it would be worth your while applying for access to work because of your Dyslexia. They can provide a lot of equipment that can massively help with paperwork, reading etc. I first applied for it for that and have since had to reapply due to other issues. But the things that help me with my dyslexia have made the most difference. For instance, I’m able to dictate this to you so you don’t have to try and work out my spelling.
    It’s worth any UK based Conservator who is either employed or self-employed who has a disability to apply for it. It’s the only bit of the DWP that actually wants to help disabled people rather than make our lives harder.

  2. Lydia

    would you like to visit the studio at Glamorgan Archives we have been adapting our studio for both myself and my assistant conservator who have verous disabilities. but also as an office we have the whole office is very inclusive and we have a number of disabled staff, Volunteers and student interns though out all parts off the office. I can only speak for myself it is a very supportive office.

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