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Disability and the Archaeological Profession
BAJR fully supports this initiative and asks all those that feel they can comment to please get in touch with Dr Phillips, who has asked me to make this consultation widely known.
If its dyslexia, asthma, RSI, Colour blindness.. get in touch..

now read on :face-approve:

Disability and the Archaeological Profession
? Call for Participants

Archaeology at the University of Reading have been commissioned by English Heritage to carry out a project looking at disability within the archaeological profession working in close consultation with the Institute for Archaeologists (IfA) as a major stakeholder. The brief is to produce good practice guidelines for the employment of disabled archaeologists in the profession. These are to be based on the good practices already being followed by employers and employees. The guidelines will be published as an IfA Professional Paper.

The project team is looking for participants willing to tell their story, whether this be positive or negative. We are very eager to talk to anyone who has had experiences of disability within archaeology, either at a personal level, with the people they have worked alongside or supervised, interviewed or employed. We are interested in talking to people about all aspects, including the less obvious things such as dyslexia, diabetes, asthma, RSI and so forth. All the information will be used anonymously and presented in such a way that no individual or organisation can be identified. The participants will also be invited to comment on the draft of the guidelines.

If you are interested in participating in this project, please contact:

Dr Tim Phillips
0118 3788293

"Gie's a Job.."
Prof. 'Dolly' Parton
For really I think that the poorest he that is in England hath a life to live, as the greatest he
Thomas Rainborough 1647
Looks good, something that is definitely needed, look forward to seeing where it goes and what its results/conclusions are.
An admirable initiative and one that should underpin inclusive archaeology and access to all. A couple of spin-offs should be....
1. a timely re-appraisal of the current state of health and safety guidelines/legislation and best practise within the profession with a focus upon access for the disabled. Our current state of HS in the profession is poor as it stands, a complete re-assessment will be required on the whole and in particular, changes will be needed to accommodate the needs of our disabled colleagues.
2. On an academic note, isn`t it time that an archaeology of disability comes to the fore? An attempt to identify and understand the lives/roles and perceptions of disabled people through time? :face-thinks:

..knowledge without action is insanity and action without knowledge is vanity..(imam ghazali,ayyuhal-walad)
I would hope it would not only identify issues with disabled people wanting to participate in archaeology, but also (and to me more important as it has affected me personally) how participating in archaeology affects people and can create disabilities and what we do about this.

How do we accommodate those made disabled by archaeology? but more importantly try and develop and encourage best practice to prevent this happening in the first place. There's a lot of archaeologists who 'retire' from the field due to chronic pain/inability to do the job any longer, especially bad backs and knees and wrists and rheumatism/arthritis. How can we change this? Is it indeed possible? Do units have to accept real responsibility for knackering the joints (and minds?) of their workers? Of course it cuts both ways and diggers also need to take responsibility for their long term health.

I will participate, and look forward to seeing the results, and what is done with them.
Good on ya..

my wrist often gives up on me.. (now I wear a wristguard!) my knees, my back... etc.. all have real impact on my day to day life. they are in reality disabilities. I think I should participate too. well said bob

?When a sinister person means to be your enemy, they always start by trying to become your friend.?
William Blake
Agree completely Bob. I would hope though, that repetitive strain injuries and other physical practise that induces or compounds disabilities, are not the only catalysts considered. Lets not forget that archaeologists risk long-term and potentially fatal illness by working in contaminated ground. There are still lots of "professional" units out there that still do not carry out chemical testing and assessment prior to groundworks. From hydrocarbons to pesticides, heavy metals and unexploded ordnance..... "disability" encompasses a wide remit. As Bob rightly pointed out,"knackering the minds" there are times where practitioners can be scarred for life (mass graves/war crimes etc) and this needs to be considered too.

..knowledge without action is insanity and action without knowledge is vanity..(imam ghazali,ayyuhal-walad)
absolutely troll.

(slightly off-topic)reminds me of the write up in the Spitalfields crypt report about lead contamination and other issues affecting staff (section 3, H&S considerations), well worth a read:
for me it was Kellington, though for us there was no psychiatric help, just get on with it... still see people as bones and fleshy dreams of the dead- even had one last night!

?When a sinister person means to be your enemy, they always start by trying to become your friend.?
William Blake
feet, knees, hips, back, neck and shoulder...not good...

but Kellington caused scars in me head. Sights, sounds and smells. Sounds silly, but I talked to every skeleton I excavated after that!

Enough moaning - GOOD initiative. I also like Troll's suggestion of an archaeology of...
Had a telephone 'interview' with Dr Phillips yesterday. He phones you at a convenient time, you say your bit, he asks a few questions. Job done. To be recommended!

Spread the word

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