Annual Disability Lecture 2024

Catch up on the 10th Annual Disability Lecture given by Beth Kume-Holland 

Image taken from Beth Kume-Holland's slides for the Disability Lecture 2024 showing Beth in front of the Radcliffe Camera

Beth Kume-Holland

A reminder, an eye opener, and a motivator for change.

(Disability Lecture audience member)

On 30 April, the Disability Advisory Group (DAG) and the Equality and Diversity Unit (EDU) hosted the 10th Annual Disability Lecture at the Blavatnik School of Government. Speaker Beth Kume-Holland gave a poignant lecture, drawing on her own lived experience and a bit of social theory to offer a practical and moving reflection on key issues relating to disability and accessibility, and why they matter.  

"[Beth] not only highlighted the current issues with inaccessibility in institutions, workplaces, education, etc, she then talked about things we as a society could do about it." 

(Disability Lecture audience member)

This engaging lecture received glowing feedback, with 100% of the respondents to our feedback survey saying they had learnt something from the event, and 94% expressing an interest in attending similar events in the future. 

"This presentation by Beth, and the contributions from Oxford Uni staff, caused me to rethink my beliefs and attitudes regarding disability - a real mind shift!"

(Disability Lecture audience member)

Accessibility first

Accessibility was a priority for everyone involved in organising the event. Whether online or in the lecture theatre itself, we wanted our audience to have the best possible experience and opportunity to engage with Beth’s talk. To achieve this, the EDU and DAG: 

•    Chose a venue with accessibility features
•    Provided assistance at the venue to audience members that required it
•    Hosted online over Zoom 
•    Ensured all our speakers’ needs were as fully met as possible
•    Provided BSL interpretation and live captioning 
•    Handled personal access needs shared with us on an individual basis
•    Recorded the event to make it accessible to a wider audience

Beth shared her reaction on LinkedIn, saying the lecture was, "without doubt the most accessible and inclusive event I’ve ever been fortunate enough to be a part of!"

This was a collaborative effort, and we extend our thanks to the Vice Chancellor and the Chief Diversity Officer for their kind support, and the Blavatnik School of Government for their gracious hospitality; and thanks to the commitment of Ben Smith, Chloé Ashbell, Dominik Lukeš, Ross Wackett, Anna Walker, Sam James, the student stewards and technical team, and the volunteers from the Staff Disability Network, for helping create such a positive and accessible event.   

We hope to see many more events across the University strive to be as inclusive and accessible for all their audience members. If you would like to make your public events more inclusive and accessible, do consult the guidelines on the University’s Communications Hub:

You can watch the captioned video recording, listen to the audio recording, and read the transcript here

Watch, listen and read the lecture    

Further feedback from the audience:

"As a staff person without a declared disability I found Beth's talk really engaging and helpful. I took away a list of 'quick win' tasks which I am going to do, that should help my little area of the University to be more accessible."


"Beth gave me hope that disabled people like me can have  great careers irrespective of the challenges and barriers they encounter along the way."

"Beth was an outstanding speaker, demonstrating with stark clarity just what we should all be thinking about and doing to improve disability inclusion, and to take the burden off disabled individuals."

"Beth's perspective on invisible disabilities was particularly compelling - our views of disability can be very narrow. I will definitely be more actively asking people I work with if any adaptations would help improve their access to work, rather than waiting to be approached by them."