Melanie Hibbert-Bown (Founder and Network Manager)


Melanie Hibbert Bown



Melanie has worked in the area of social care for over 10 years, with particular expertise in childhood Special Educational Needs (SEN), disability, and inclusion. Her work in these areas first began in 2005, when she was drawn towards voluntary work with disabled children and young people, and their families. This work led her face to face with the pressing challenges faced by disabled people in terms of accessing adequate social support, especially in the form of inclusive educational opportunities. After the completion of her undergraduate degree in Disability Studies in 2013, she taught at Further Education (FE) colleges on inclusion and disability issues. Whilst she thoroughly enjoyed introducing students to disability studies, Melanie felt that something was missing. After much thought and personal reflection, she identified the missing pieces of the puzzle: attention to intersectionality, chiefly disability and race. Ever since, Melanie has focused her postgraduate studies and advocacy work in this area, founding Intersection Network in 2017 to establish a community for disabled people of colour working or studying in Higher Education. Intersectionality Network has grown from Melanie’s own observations, and lived experiences as a disabled person of colour.


University of Bedfordshire


  • MSc in Disabilities Studies , Trinity College Dublin, 2016- current
  • Certificate in Education and Training, Bedford College, 2013
  • BA in Disabilities Studies, University of Bedfordshire, 2009-2013
  • Certificate in Children’s Care, Learning, and Development, Bedford College, 2007 – 2009



Relevant Research, Publications, and Outreach:

  • ‘Dyslexia in Higher Education, a Study of the Experiences of Students Labelled as Having Dyslexia’ (unpublished undergraduate thesis; University of Bedfordshire, 2013)
  • ‘What it’s Like to be a Disabled Student of Colour Studying in Higher Education’ (forthcoming book chapter)
  • ‘Barriers, Challenges, and Experiences in Higher Education for Disabled Black Female Academics’ (MSc thesis; Trinity College Dublin, research in progress)
  • Regular commenter on intersectional disability politics on Twitter as @MelHibbertBown1
  • Member of various professional organisations, including Chronically Academic


Research Interests:

  • Disability and race in Higher Education
  • Lived experiences of black disabled women, black disabled children, and their families
  • Intersectionality as a means to enact change in exclusionary educational policies


Award Award Award


  • Postgraduate Equality Advocacy Award, conferred by Trinity College Dublin, 2017


Social Media

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