UNISON members take a dramatic look at workplace disability issues

UNISON members, in conjunction with Hubbub and Face Up Theatre, took part in a production to celebrate the International Day of Persons with a Disability during Disability History month.

Disabled UNISON members

More than three dozen members from unions Birmingham branch took part in the unique workshop that examined the barriers disabled people face in work and social settings last December.

The workshop and production was open to members and non-members alike and held in the theatre at Birmingham Library. It was all led by Hubbub Theatre Company, an integrated ensemble of learning disabled and non-disabled performers, and Face Up Theatre, who specialise in running workshops to inspire social change.

The production, entitled “Reasonable Adjustments”, involved a series of short scenes that examined what happens when employers fail to remove barriers to disabled people’s full participation in the workplace.

After each scene, the performers led discussion of the issues by the workshop participants and audience members as to what they thought the individuals were experiencing in terms of disability discrimination.

The day was the result of an earlier workshop organised by the branch in October that asked disabled members to come forward and share their experiences of discrimination at work. Hubbub and Face Up Theatre then used these experiences to develop the one-hour theatre production to highlight the discrimination disabled people still face in the workplace.

Birmingham Branch Union Learning Fund Officer Donald McCombie, who organised the event in partnership with the branch disabled members’ self-organised group, said:

A creative, interactive piece of theatre was not something anybody in the room had experienced before, so that was different in a good way for people.”