Katia Ramo speaks about disability inclusion: a key pillar of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals

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On 27th February, Katherine (Katia) Ramo, Associate, Technology and Media, CMS joined the ABN AMRO UK team to talk about effective inclusion of people with disabilities within the workplace. Patricia Roberts, Managing Director, Corporate Banking Coverage and a member of the UK Diversity and Inclusion Committee, led the discussion.

An equal working environment

Katia reminded us that that disability should not limit a person’s abilities if an organisation enables an equal environment for all individuals. In fact, disabled individuals often maintain a higher degree of motivation and persistence and possess natural leadership skills but require support to eliminate the barriers they may face at work. While Katia highlighted the benefits of policies such as flexible working, Katia cautioned against treating similar disabilities in the same manner: “Every disability is different for each person and therefore requires unique measures to support a disabled person at work.”  

Katia shared her experience of pursuing a new career in law, after being diagnosed with Stickler Syndrome Type II as an adult – a rare genetic disorder that causes vision and hearing loss and affects the joints. This was in addition to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) as a result of a civilian tour of duty in Afghanistan. Katia said: “At the most vulnerable time, I changed not only my career but my whole environment. I discovered that law requires only the brain to analyse and apply it and beyond this, it does not matter”.  

Disability inclusion – a sustainable development goal

Katia put disability inclusion into context with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 2030 – highlighting that the articles of the United Nation Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities UNCRPD apply to 14 out of 17 of the SDGs, which includes but not limited to alleviating poverty, reducing inequalities achieving a quality education, economic growth, and environmental sustainability for all, including people with disabilities. 
Katia concluded: “It’s so important to look beyond your limitations, to rise above bigotry so that you can be of service”.

About Katia Ramo

Katia is an Associate in Technology and Media at the global law firm CMS and is the Founder and Chair of the CMS ENABLE Network for Disability and Wellbeing, and supports other internal diversity networks. She is currently completing a PhD in International Law. 
Katia is the Co-Head of the InterLaw Diversity Forum Enable Disability Network and a member of the United Nations Stakeholders Group on Persons with Disability and its High-level Political Forum, which is the main UN platform on sustainable development, playing a central role in the follow-up and review of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals at the global level.