Like any project that hopes to succeed, this project relies on the community – and communities – involved.
This site is administered by Chris Fitch and Dan Holloway, but there are many other communities involved in this project, and the main one is you.
Dan Holloway has worked as an administrator at the University of Oxford after a breakdown ended his doctoral study there, and has been a mental health and neurodivergence speaker and campaigner since the mid 2000s.
Dan has lived experience of bipolar disorder, ADHD, and dyspraxia, and the barriers he faced through that experience were a driving factor in setting up Rogue Interrobang, a spinout company from the University of Oxford that helps institutions and individuals to use creative thinking to solve wicked problems.
Dan was co-convenor of the Futures Thinking Research Network at The Oxford Research Centre for the Humanities, and researches public narratives of disability and technology. He was shortlisted alongside Verity Westgate for the inaugural Oxford University Vice Chancellor’s Diversity Awards for the training courses they created and delivered to help managers better understand the needs of staff with mental health conditions.
Christopher Fitch is a Research Fellow at the University of Bristol and Vulnerability Lead at the Money Advice Trust.
This has involved improving practice in more than 300 firms, with 30,000 staff, and right across the financial and essential service sectors.
Previously Chris was a Research Fellow and Head of Policy at the Royal College of Psychiatrists where he led research programmes and national mental health policy development, and prior to this a Researcher at Imperial College Medical School where he worked on international WHO and United Nations research studies and public health projects in the areas of HIV and STI prevention.
Support Taxonomy Oversight Group
The Oversight Group is responsible for producing new stable versions of the support needs taxonomy on an annual basis. You can read full details of how it operates in the standing orders which you can download here. The Oversight Group draws members from the following groups, each of which plays a different but complementary role within it.
- Those with lived experience of support needs;
- Representatives of institutions that implement support needs for members of the public;
- Representatives of charities or advocacy groups that work with and on behalf of those with lived experience;
- Representing organizations that have already implemented systems based on the support needs taxonomy.
Current members of the Oversight Group
Dr Elizabeth Blakelock (she, her) is a disabled single mum living in rural Suffolk. She works with governments, regulators and firms to design essentiall service markets that are inclusive by design. Elizabeth describes her mission as transforming essential services for everyone through incorporating compassion into decision making. In practice this means delivering insight into the real time impact markets on people’s lives to decision makers, particularly those experiencing significant harm.
Elizabeth leads a team at the charity Citizens Advice, who have funding to champion people’s rights in energy markets in Great Britain. Before joining Citizens Advice she had corporate and academic roles. In 2020 she finished her Ph.D. on how powerful ideas influence the rules of the energy market to undermine processes that were supposed to ensure inclusive policy making.
Tim Scannell is a Business Development Consultant. He is also a Trainer and Tutor for Deaf Awareness Training and British Sign Language. Tim is profoundly Deaf and British Sign Language is his first language. Tim has a background in Computer Science, but in his current work, he helps organisations to provide better services for Deaf/deaf consumers.
Sarah is a highly experienced and dedicated disability and LGBTQ+ advocate, campaigner, trainer and podcaster. She has over 25 years’ experience of empowering disabled people to receive the support and adjustments they require within education and employment. . She currently works for the University of Oxford as their Staff Disability Advisor and has previously held similar roles at the Universities of Nottingham and Birmingham. She has experience within the voluntary sector having previously worked for a national disability charity and been a trustee for a local sightloss charity and LGBTQ+ community group. Sarah brings with her a powerful combination of professional knowledge and lived experience and is an excellent communicator regularly delivering presentations to audiences in both the private and public sector.
This project would not be possible without the support, the belief, and the pioneering work of Experian, in particular the data exchange team. It was Experian’s belief in the importance of providing cross-institutional support for the needs of millions of disabled and vulnerable customers that led to the work in which the support needs taxonomy was created.