The Phil & Simon Show No 34 with Caroline Casey

Valuable 500, growing up blind, disability, business, campaigningCaroline Casey is an engaging and emotive speaker. She’s done a TED Talk, spoken at Davos and her current project is to get 500 global companies to sign a pledge to discuss disability in the boardroom. 
We start by exploring her remarkable childhood, where her parents didn’t tell her that she had sight loss. She explains how the Johnny Cash song, ‘A Boy Named Sue’ influenced this thinking. 

Having a great memory and the ability to listen, meant Caroline not only got by but got on. Then as a young adult, as she was about to have a driving lesson, she realised something was amiss. A later attempt to learn to drive stopped abruptly when she not only couldn’t she read the number plate, she couldn’t identify the car.  
After the realisation, rather than explore this identity, she decided to hide it herself and spent a further 11 years pretending nothing was different, a period she calls ‘the fraudulent years’. When applying for a job and asked to complete a monitoring form she’d hesitate and eventually lightly graze the tick box, in pencil, showing her confusion. 
Finally, at 28 years old, she says she ‘came out of the disability closet’ and embraced her full self although acknowledges, she’s still working on accepting it – asking for help is one of the toughest things for her to do and she sees this inability as a weakness.
Her latest campaign is Valuable 500 and she gives us an update with an impending deadline. If 56% of board meeting agendas have never mentioned disability, 7% of board-level employees have an impairment and 80% of those hide the fact, there’s some work to do.
There are a few mild swear words, just to let you know. Transcription is available on request. 
Links 


After the realisation, rather than explore this identity, she decided to hide it herself and spent a further 11 years pretending nothing was different, a period she calls ‘the fraudulent years’. When applying for a job and asked to complete a monitoring form she’d hesitate and eventually lightly graze the tick box, in pencil, showing her confusion. 
Finally, at 28 years old, she says she ‘came out of the disability closet’ and embraced her full self although acknowledges, she’s still working on accepting it – asking for help is one of the toughest things for her to do and she sees this inability as a weakness.
Her latest campaign is Valuable 500 and she gives us an update with an impending deadline. If 56% of board meeting agendas have never mentioned disability, 7% of board-level employees have an impairment and 80% of those hide the fact, there’s some work to do.
There are a few mild swear words, just to let you know. Transcription is available on request. 
Links 

https://www.thevaluable500.com
Diversish video
A Boy Named Sue
Twitter @500Valuable

Author: PhilFriend

Dr Phil Friend (OBE FRSA) himself a wheelchair user, is acknowledged as the UK's foremost consultant on disability matters. A powerful and highly popular communicator, his company – Phil & Friends – has provided consultancy to many of the country's best-known companies. In addition to his professional activities, he is also a respected champion for equal opportunities and diversity in general, where his special blend of humour and direct speaking has won admirers from around the world.

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