Welcome to EMBED: A collaboration for a fresh approach to inclusive practice in the Heritage Sector

DCN and Embed Logos

Since 2015, DCN has developed relationships with professionals across industries and sectors. 

The biggest learning from this is collaboration is key, learning from other organisations and sectors about what it takes to create sustainable change in embedding inclusion and accessibility.  

DCN are now taking this to the next level – Disability Collaborative Network C.I.C is now a member of EMBED – a recently founded consortium of professional independent consultants that offer in excess of 30 years’ experience in the development and cultural transformation of organisations across private sector including corporate, public sector and charitable sector.

Working together our goal is to support museums and heritage organisations of whatever size and budget to develop and deliver sustainable business change, change that shifts the culture of an organisation to becoming inclusive for its employees, voluntary staff, and visitors.  

Ultimately we aim to empower organisations to become more disability confident, identify and remove and to increase and support disabled and neurodivergent people working and being part of all sectors.

Sarah Simcoe, Director of DMS (Wirral) Ltd and Founder of EMBED, was in conversation with Becki Morris about what EMBED is all about and what opportunities it presents for the Heritage Sector:

What is your background Sarah?

For over 25 years I worked for finance and IT organisations supporting the delivery of operations and services for private and public sectors. Throughout my time in those businesses I certainly became a Jill of all trades, you name it and I’ve probably done it.  But what I became known for was strategy, transformation and organisational change, and in particular how equality, diversity, inclusion and accessibility form an intrinsic part of that activity. My passion is people and supporting other organisations to offer the most inclusive environment possible, an environment where we enable and empower our people, deliver the best service to our customers and understand our impact on society.

Why did you set up EMBED?

I left the world of corporate early in 2018 after making the decision to work full time in the Diversity and Inclusion space. Pretty quickly my views were confirmed, that often it can be difficult for some organisations and sectors to access the services that consultants like me offer.  This can be because it is too expensive, or it can be overwhelming if huge change is being suggested or the buy-in from the organisation isn’t quite there. So with that in mind, I got the thinking cap on around how I can change that, from my small part of the world, how can I make a difference to those organisations. 

That’s were EMBED was born – EMBED is a consortium of professional independent consultants that offer in excess of 30 years’ experience in the development and cultural transformation of organisations across private sector including corporate, public sector and charitable sector.  This transformation and cultural change, at its core, is about equality, diversity, inclusion and accessibility.

The core purpose of EMBED is to offer a cost effective cross-sector expert based model that is able to call on sector or topic specific experts to work with clients.  Our EMBED model offers an informed, structured and planned approach to embedding real change. One size does not fit all, and we take a user-led and business-led approach to ensuring that each piece of work we deliver is fully aligned to the needs and constraints of that particular organisation.

What does it mean for the Heritage Sector?

For those of you working in the Heritage Sector having access to DCN already gives you a blueprint for working towards better, innovative access for disabled visitors and inclusive policies and practices for disabled employees. Now that DCN has become part of the EMBED Consortium we can help Heritage Sector members to understand the interplay between disability inclusion and other equality strands such as Gender and LGBTQ+. It also provides you with an opportunity to learn from best practice across other sectors – learning from each other and collaboration really are important tools for change and so with our unique approach to offering cross-sector expertise, we aim to leverage that as part of your journey towards inclusion and accessibility.

We are a tiny museum with limited funds, how can EMBED support us?

With any piece of work we start with understanding where you are today and where you feel you need to get to; this will include your challenges and constraints including working with very limited budgets.  We will then work with you to build an appropriate programme of work that feels appropriate, achievable and cost effective.

If you are interested in how EMBED can support you organisation do get in touch via info@musedcn.org.uk and check out the website https://embed.org.uk/

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