Reach out for support

Greet Janssens signposts the support the DisAbility network can provide

Greet Janssens
Greet Janssens is a community children’s physiotherapist and co-chair of the CSP DisAbility network

When invited to work on this edition of Frontline, many thoughts crossed my mind about what to cover and how to put across what a disability means to us as physiotherapists.  I am a stroke survivor with congenital hearing impairment.

As we are considered to be educated in addressing physical limitations, one could easily assume that a physio with such impairment will experience understanding and awareness from their colleagues, particularly their manager. 

There remains, however, big stigma in disclosing limitations of a variety in nature when first interviewing for a job. A newly qualified physio may have a career plan without considering the care they’ve had to apply for their dyslexia or ADHD. 

We may keep a stiff upper lip about a minor hearing impairment, because it hasn’t stood in the way of graduating with honours.

Resilient behaviour and masking an impairment that has an increasing impact on our performance is not uncommonly heard of. 

The CSP DisAbility network is here for everyone who identifies as having a disability, to support its members and also their colleagues and managers. 

With this edition we hope to become more visible to those of you who may not have needed support thus far, but could rely on us when you find it necessary or when you wish to be an ally for a colleague who has trusted you with a message that they are struggling. You and us can be allies in an inclusive working environment where everyone belongs. 

Disability is not scary - despite or even thanks to my impairment I can add great value to our profession. 

Find us in the virtual world of vPUK on 5 November at 4pm for a networking session about reasonable adjustments. The success of the session depends on you engaging in the discussion from your own perspective. 

I hope we’ve been able to reach out to you. Be a part of the dialogue and show that you can be a caring and empathetic ally, who is an advocate for yourself and others. 

Find out more 

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