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About Catherine Hale


I am a disabled researcher, coproduction and inclusion consultant. I founded Chronic Illness Inclusion and, through this work, developed the concept of energy-limiting conditions (ELCs) as a tool for disability advocacy. 

My work centres on disability employment, chronic illness, flexible working, disability benefits, work and health, disability inclusion and ableism. 

Energy limiting conditions affect 1 in 3 disabled people in the UK. 'ELC' and 'energy impairment' are a new way of describing long term conditions that restrict the amount and pace of activity someone can do. ELCs are typically fluctuating conditions and are a type of invisible, or less-apparent, disability. The term ELC allows disabled people to advocate for equality and inclusion on the basis of the impact of their health condition, regardless of medical understandings of cause or diagnosis.

For collaboration and consultancy you can contact me via a contact form in the menu button.

My Work

My 'proper jobs' have been few and far between because formal employment generally doesn't fit around my disability. Instead, most of my work has been in the form of research projects, collaborations with NGOs and academics, reports, policy engagement and consultancy. My publications are here.

Proper jobs

Research Lead and Head of Astriid Consulting Astriid (January 2022 – December 2023)

-          Developed disability inclusion training for businesses on supporting people with long term conditions at work, including flexible working and inclusive recruitment.

-          Led research into Astriid candidate’s barriers to employment and support needs.

Founding Director and Research Lead Chronic Illness Inclusion Project (2017 - 2022)

-          Lead researcher and project manager, CIIP, part of the DRILL programme.

-          Founder and Director, Chronic Illness Inclusion, an advocacy organization promoting rights and inclusion for people with energy limiting conditions and chronic pain.

Research and coproduction projects

2024 Consultant researcher, Can flexible job design improve employment outcomes for people with fluctuating disabilities? King's College London.

2023 PPI facilitator, NIHR: Building towards a vision ofWork-Health Expert Research Collaboration.

2022 Associate Researcher, University of Liverpool. Disbelief and Disregard in relation to medicine, chronic illness and disability

2021 Coproduction Lead, University of Kent. Towards Dignity, Security and Fairness in benefit systems across Europe.

2020-2021 Research Associate, Leeds University Business School, Chronic illness, employment and social security. ESRC Knowledge Exchange Programme.

2021 Research consultancy for the Centre for Health and Disability Assessment (Maximus) on the customer journey with PIP and WCA.

2018-2021 Commissioner, The Commission on Social Security led by Experts by Experience (University of Warwick/Trust for London)


Impact - policy and media work

Invited speaker, Employment Related Services Association’s (ERSA) Employer Engagement Forum, chaired by Prof Jo Ingold. September 2023.

Invited speaker, “Energy limiting conditions and the impact on work”. Business Disability Forum, Employment Network event. March 2023.

Podcast guest, Workworkwork Future of Work Lab, University of Melbourne.

Expert witness, Work and Pensions Committee inquiry into health assessments for benefits, 2022.

Invited speaker, Disability and Social Inclusion seminar series. City University. 2021

Expert witness, Work and Pensions Committee inquiry into the disability employment gap, 2021.

BBC Radio 4 interview You and Yours, 2020. Speaking about energy impairment and disability inclusion.

Invited speaker, The Future of Assessments and Social Security for Disabled People for Shadow Chancellor, John McDonnell MP, 2018.

BBC Ouch podcast guest ‘Rationing energy – and other chronic illness life hacks’, 2017.

 

Advisory roles and networks

 ‘Cripping the Exhaustion Economy’ ISRF/Liverpool University

Talking about Poverty’ On Road Media (Heard) /Joseph Rowntree Foundation.

Member of Independent Living Strategy Group, chaired by Baroness Jane Campbell.

Beyond a safe and secure transition’ Scottish Campaign on Rights to Social Security.

Welfare at a Social Distance’ University of Salford/ESRC

Covid Realities’ University of York/Birmingham/CPAG.

A Refuge for All: improving access to violence and abuse services for disabled women. Shaping Our Lives.

Member of Spartacus Network of disabled researchers (2013-2016)





















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Sickness and the Social Model of Disability

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