The start of my story is a lot like other freelance ELT publishing professionals. I taught for twelve years, spent time in-house with Oxford University Press, and then launched my freelance editing and writing career.
As a freelancer, I worked on every component imaginable, from Student Books and Teacher’s Books to digital Workbooks. I also carved out a bit of a niche writing dyslexia-friendly materials. I loved my work, but something bothered me: a lot of the material I came across didn’t seem to reflect the real world.
I knew there had to be a solution, so I started to learn about diversity and inclusion. This is where my story changed direction. The more I learnt, the more convinced I became of two things. The first was that inclusive materials were the best way to truly engage all learners. The second was that I had found the work I was meant to do.
In the last few years, I’ve been able to apply my expertise to help publishers navigate the brave new world of inclusive materials. Some of the work I’m most proud of includes:
- creating inclusive materials as a writer and editor.
- providing advice on materials that are in development to help publishers to avoid embarrassing diversity and inclusion errors.
- helping a major publishing house create Editorial Diversity and Inclusion guidelines.
- providing diversity and inclusion training for major publishers.
Outside of my work, I’m also a passionate advocate for inclusive materials. In 2020, I set up the Reflecting Reality Facebook group to help teachers and freelance publishing professionals learn more about inclusive materials. I’m also an Events Co-ordinator for the IATEFL Inclusive Practices and Special Educational Needs SIG. I regularly speak and write articles about inclusive materials.
When I’m not working, I love making things, swimming, joining a good protest march, and enjoying the Kent countryside with my endlessly demanding border collies.