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Jennifer Sarrett    

Founder of Disruptive Inclusion, a DEI Consultancy Specializing in Anti-Ableism & DEI in Science, Health & Biotech

Jen Sarrett believes that inequity can be eradicated by the recognition of our shared humanity. Sarrett has spent over a decade researching and studying the concepts behind this work, the histories and perspectives of groups of difference, and ways to leverage her privilege and perspective for the good of everyone. From the classroom to training seminars, Sarrett has provided guidance in the concepts behind discrimination, privilege, and inequity to teams, business leaders, college students, medical students, and the community.

Sarrett obtained her Phd from Emory University for which she studied Bioethics, Anthropology, Ethics, Disability Studies, and History. This work has prepared her to guide organizations in understanding and utilizing the concepts behind inclusion so that, together, you can work towards sustainable, ethical practices to ensure equity for all. Sarrett specializes in anti-ableism and disability justice, intersectionality, anti-racism, and inclusion for people with conviction histories and has particular experience working with teams in science, biotech, health and healthcare, and nonprofit. Additionally, Sarrett has created an innovative, proactive approach to DEI she calls Universal Design for Equity.

A native of Atlanta, GA, she grew up around conversations of civil rights and equity. Sarrett ensures these conversations are present and comfortable in her household with her husband, two step-children, a dog named Grizz Le’Bear and three chickens.

Speech Topics


Neurodiversity in the Workplace (Workshop)

In this workshop, Dr. Sarrett relies on her decades long experience working as a researcher, scholar, direct care provider, and educator for and with people with neurodivergent identities to help teams understand how to best support and empower neurodiverse teams. In addition to her personal experience with and as neurodivergence, she has led qualitative research with autistic adults on their experiences and needs in the workplace. The findings of this research inform real-life tips and tricks your teams can implement today to create a more neurodiverse, inclusive workplace. In addition, Dr. Sarrett covers history, definitions, language, and intersectionality as it relates to neurodiversity. All workshops are customized to client needs and include opportunities for interaction and reflection.

DEI in STEM

In this talk, Dr. Sarrett relies on her background as a social scientist, bioethicist, and professor to convey the importance of DEI in science, health, and biotechnology. Looking at history, bias has been integrated into our research strategies, including who is being researched, ethical concerns based on race and disability, and how this history impacts current knowledge creation. These biases are connected to who is doing science—largely white, upper middle class men. However, there are exciting efforts to increase diversity in science. The best of which start in early childhood education.

Sarrett then provides audience specific recommendations on how diversity can improve science, health, and health technology development and dissemination.

Allyship: We're all in this together

As Audre Lorde taught us, ""There is no such thing as a single-issue struggle."" We are all in this together. Allyship is critical to equity and justice, including and especially in good DEI work. In this talk, Dr. Sarrett talks about allyship and the critical concepts related to being a good ally, including social identities, intersectionality, and unconscious bias. Further, she talks about being ally and being a co-conspirator. Finally, Sarrett provides some actions people can start using immediately to be a good ally in their workplaces and personal lives.

What is DEI and why is everyone talking about it!?

In this talk, Dr. Sarrett reviews a bit of the history behind the diversity, equity, and inclusion field. Using real life events and examples, Sarrett defines important terms—including the D, E, I...and A, J, and B!—that are often seen in acronyms about DEI. Further, she will give the audience both the business and the moral case behind DEI, showing that good, integrated DEI not only has a great ROI, but makes business more human. Finally, Sarrett reviews some ways to start on your DEI journey, including some basic concepts attendees can take and apply to their specific organizational requirements.

Disability in the Workplace

In this talk, Dr. Sarrett provides an introduction to important ways of thinking about disability that may challenge how you define this concept (yes...concept!). She reviews the medical model, social model, and cultural model of disability how each model changes how we think about disability and people who identify as disabled. She also talks about the importance of language and disability—including how to talk about disability in an anti-ableist way and what's up with disability related euphemisms. Finally, she gives some specific notes on how disability can impact the workplace experience and strategies organizations can employ to ensure people with disabilities feel included and supported. And these strategies can be tailor made for particular organizations!

Universal Design for Equity

In this session, disability and anti-ableism expert Dr. Jennifer Sarrett introduces attendees to the disability concept of universal design (UD) and discuss how this approach can guide us toward a reconceptualization of the field of diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging (DEIB).

UD is an architectural framework that encourages the creation of spaces and places to be as accessible as possible to as many people as possible without introducing new barriers for anyone — think curb cuts, which were built for people using wheelchairs but help a range of people without harming anyone. Sarrett argues this approach will not only help generate practices that have wide usefulness but will also help us move away from DEIB being a field that reacts to large cultural events and internal complaints to an innovative, proactive, inclusive practice.

Learning Outcomes:

  • Learn the history, definition, and seven principles of universal design
  • Critically examine the history and current state of DEIB in relation to recent reports of stagnation in the field
  • Apply a universal design approach to DEIB for innovative, proactive practices.

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