All posts by Anica Zeyen

I am an academic, guide dog owner, disability advocate, fundraiser and elephant fanatic.

Call for Documentary Participants

All of us have experienced the pandemic in different ways. Some experiences were challenging, heartbreaking, upsetting or outright horrible,; others were positive as new opportunities became available that were previously said to be impossible; and many somewhere in between. We want to showcase the diversity of experiences of the pandemic of disabled people.

As part of our British Academy funded project on the impact of Covid-19 on disabled people in the UK, we are making a documentary mini-series. The series will include 5 10-20 minute videos that will cover different aspects of the pandemic and its impact on disabled people. We want to capture first-hand experiences as well as professional insights. The final series will be published on YouTube and similar platforms.

Who we are looking for

We are looking for you, if you meet the following criteria

  • 18+ years old
  • are disabled (any long-term physical, sensory, cognitive or mental health condition or long-term illness)
  • Ideally live in London, Surrey, Berkshire, West Sussex
  • are happy to talk about your personal and/or professional experience of the pandemic
  • be available for filming in February, early / mid-March, late April or early May (please note you do not need to be available during all of these times but just at any time during this time). Filming can take place weekdays or weekends based on your preference.

What it involves?

You will be talking to a camera or doing an interview-style conversation, based on your preference. We will also film some general footage of you (e.g., doing your work, engaging in household activities, going for a walk, or engaging in a hobby)

Further information

Everyone who will be filmed for the documentary will receive a £100 gift voucher for a shop of their choice. (Please note the shop needs to allow online purchases of gift vouchers)

We aim to ensure that diverse voices are heard and represented. We encourage disabled people of all backgrounds and intersectionalities to come forward (gender, race, ethnicity, religion, LGBTQ+, gender identity, socioeconomic background). Everyone is welcome!

To ensure that disabled people can participate, we will aim to make this as accessible as possible . For instance, we can have a BSL interpreter on site to translate so that you can sign or have our questions translated.

According to your preference, the filming would take place inside or outside.

How to join?

Simply email our academic lead Anica on

Vlog competition launched

We are very excited to announce our Vlog competition.

Who can participate?

Anybody over the age of 18 who lives and works in the UK and has a disability or mental health condition.

What you need to do?

Create a 3-5 minute video about your experience of working during the Covid-19 pandemic. Within this, you choose what you talk about and how you want to present it. We do not expect professional editing. Indeed, we encourage self-filming!

We will add captions and audio-descriptions to the winning Vlogs before publishing themm to ensure that they are accessible to everyone. You do not need to worry about doing this yourself. If you want to film your Vlog in BSL, please go ahead and do so, we will also add captions and voiceover to those before publishing them.

Vlogs need to be in English.

What you can win?

The winning Vlogs will win a £100 gift voucher to a UK-based retailer of their choice and will be featured in our mini-documentary.

Entry forms are here.

Join us as a participant in our study

We are currently looking for participants for our diary study.

What is this study about?

This research project wants to understand how disabled people experience the return to work after the main lockdown in the COVID19 pandemic. We aim to understand the lived experience of disabled people during the ease of lockdown and potential local lockdowns. The aim is to collect experience as they happen. We want to give voice to disabled people.

Who can join?

This study is open to disabled people who are currently working as employee (full-time, part-time, casual), volunteer, free-lancer or run their business. Disabled people can also participate if they intend to start work as employee, free-lancer or entrepreneur over the coming months. It does not matter if you physically returned to your workplace or are working remotely.

According to the UK Equality Act, disability is defined as any physical or mental long-term condition that impacts someone’s life. Anyone who self-identifies as disabled can join in the study.

You need to be a resident in the UK.

What do you need to do when you join?

  • You will participate in an 18-months diary study. The diaries are written online or can be voice or video-recorded based on your preference
  • Engage in group forum discussions with fellow participants. Identities are kept anonymous so you will use a user name rather than your real name.
  • We will conduct an interview at the start, follow-up interviews plus an exit interview at the end. All interviews are done via Zoom, unless participants prefer a different platform.

Other things you might like to know

Everything is virtual: The study is conducted entirely online and therefore does not require any face-to-face in-person contact.

Aim to be as accessible as possible: We aim to accommodate any accessibility issues participants might have. We will use live caption, are able to use BSL interpretations and use an online platform for the diaries that is screen-reader compatible, has dark mode and high contrast mode. The online platform works on Windows and Mac-based devices as well as on tablets and smartphones. The platform further allows for voice recordings if participants prefer recordings to typing. If there is anything esle you might need, just let us know.

Fully anonymous and confidential: Your identity will be kept confidential and except for the members of the research team lead (Dr. Anica Zeyen) and her Access to Work assistant (Emilio Costales), nobody will know the identity of the participants.

This project has acquired approval by the Research Ethics Committee at Royal Holloway University of London.

you can find further information on the participant information sheet below (link opens PDF file).

Are you interested in joining?

That is great news!! Please fill in the expression of interest form and we will get back to you as soon as possible. We highly appreciate your willingness to support our research endeavour.