Intersectionality Network

The Team

Melanie Hibbert (The Founder and Network Director)

Profile

Melanie has worked in childcare, social care and education for over ten years, with particular expertise in childhood Special Educational Needs (SEN), disability, and inclusion. Her work in these areas first began in 2005, when she was drawn towards voluntary work with disabled children, young adults, and their families. This work led her face to face with the pressing challenges faced by disabled people in terms of inclusion, accessing adequate social care support, especially in inclusive educational opportunities. After completing her undergraduate degree in Disability Studies in 2013, she taught in Further Education (FE) colleges on inclusion and disability-related issues. Whilst she thoroughly enjoyed introducing students to disability studies, Melanie felt that something was missing. Throughout her undergraduate degree, she was particularly interested in ableism and racism and the impact of intersectional discrimination within higher education. She identified a gap and has paid attention to intersectionality ever since. Melanie has focused her postgraduate studies and advocacy work in this area, establishing The Intersectionality Network in 2017 to establish a community for Black disabled students and academics engaged in Higher Education. The Intersectionality Network has grown from Melanie’s observations and lived experiences of someone who herself has experienced intersectional discrimination as a mature student and mother.

University of Bedfordshire

Qualifications:

  • MSc in Disability Studies, St. Angelas College, Sligo. (current)
  • Certificate in Black Studies, Institute of Antiracism And Black Studies, (current) 
  • MSc in Disabilities Studies, Trinity College Dublin, 2016 
  • Certificate in Education and Training, Bedford College, 2013
  • BA in Disabilities Studies, University of Bedfordshire, 2009-2013
  • Certificate in Children’s Care, Learning, and Development, Bedford College, 2007 – 2009

Reading

Relevant Research, Publications, and Outreach:

  • ‘Dyslexia in Higher Education, a Study of the Experiences of Students Labelled as Having Dyslexia’ (unpublished undergraduate thesis; University of Bedfordshire, 2013)
  • ‘What it’s Like to be a Black Disabled Student in Higher Education’ (forthcoming book)
  • ‘Barriers, Challenges, and Experiences in Higher Education for Black Disabled Female Academics’ (research in progress)
  • Regular commenter on intersectionality (disability and race) and  disability inequality related issues on Twitter as @MelHibbert1

Research Interests:

  • The Experiences of Race and Disability in Higher Education
  • Lived experiences of ableism and racism when parenting 

Award

Awards:

  • Postgraduate Equality Advocacy Award, conferred by Trinity College Dublin, 2017

Social Media

Connect with Melanie: