Who We Are
The I See Beyond campaign is a joint initiative of Headway and Epilepsy Ireland, national charities working to support people with two common types of hidden disability, acquired brain injury and epilepsy. The campaign is funded by the Department of Justice and Equality’s Disability Awareness Raising Grant Scheme.
Last year (2016) Headway, Brain Injury Services & Support and Epilepsy Ireland worked together to bring the discussion of Hidden Disabilities to the fore. We launched the I See Beyond Campaign as a vehicle to promote that conversation. Our overall aim was to make people aware of differences and diversity and to be more accepting of others individuality; to become responsible citizens by using their new found knowledge of hidden disability to assess situations before possibly forming inaccurate conclusions.
We produced a series of videos to challenge audiences to think about what the person might be going through, to ‘see beyond’ the disability and be practical in response, remembering that while many of the individuals we engage with on a daily basis may seem ‘well’, they may actually have a hidden disability that they shouldn’t necessarily have to hide. We asked the public to watch our stories, and show their support online.
The response was incredible, individuals, businesses and charity organisations got involved and signed our pledge to #iseebeyond. BUT now we want to go deeper. Our research shows 9 in 10 employees feel that the workplace lacks awareness of hidden disabilities and that only 3 in 10 people would feel comfortable informing their employer that they have a hidden disability for fear they will be labelled, treated differently or damage their future career prospects.
And so – with that, we are announcing our second phase of I See Beyond focusing on hidden disability in the workplace.
About The Campaign
Headway and Epilepsy Ireland want to create a society in which people living with a hidden disability feel more understood, included and supported in the workplace.
We want to dispel the myth that persons with hidden disabilities like an acquired brain injury or epilepsy are unable or no longer able to contribute in the workplace.
We have made 6 short videos to address how with reasonable accommodation, employees with hidden disabilities can contribute as equals.
We are calling on people to watch these positive stories, share them and help us find more of Ireland’s great employers who support the hundreds of thousands of people living with a hidden disability.
We will acknowledge supportive employers on our website and honour them with a certificate of recognition with the I See Beyond seal, showcasing to all that their employer truly can see the ability of is employees.
Headway is a not-for-profit organisation, which provides support and services to individuals affected by Acquired Brain Injury (A.B.I). Founded in 1985, Headway strives to heighten public and political awareness of Acquired Brain Injury and the impact it has on individuals, families and carers. Headway’s mission is “Bringing positive change in the lives of those affected by Acquired Brain Injury”. Services offered include;
In pursuit of our mission we provide person-centred services to assist individuals to rebuild their lives following their injury. These are based on assessment of a person’s needs and their own goals for recovery and we aim to maximise potential and quality of life and promote independence.
Headway staff collaborate in a multidisciplinary manner and teamwork is a key component in our approach. Headway takes a lead in advocating for better sharing of resources, information and expertise both between voluntary agencies and between the voluntary and statutory services.
As an organisation Headway prides itself on the quality of its services and is internationally accredited through the Commission of Rehabilitation Facilities for both Home and Community and Vocational Programs (Brain Injury Speciality). Such accreditation ensures that both the business function and service delivery within Headway is of the highest standards.
Eilepsy Ireland is committed to working for, and meeting the needs of everyone with epilepsy in Ireland, their families and carers. The charity’s vision is to achieve a society where no person’s life is limited by epilepsy. Established in 1966, Epilepsy Ireland has the following strategic objectives:
The core work of Epilepsy Ireland is centred on providing individual & group support from head office in Dublin and from nine regional offices. Services include our STEPS self-management programme; the Living Well With Epilepsy education programme for newly diagnosed patients; telephone support; Specialist Nurse helpline; one-to-one support & advocacy; hospital and community outreach; support groups; online support groups; events & conferences; social activities aimed at reducing isolation; and the Training For Success 1-year FETAC course at IT Sligo.
In recent years, in response to our service user’s needs, Epilepsy Ireland has invested additional resources in the areas of awareness raising and support for epilepsy research.