AHEAD: Association for Higher Education Access & Disability
Creating inclusive environments in education & employment for people with disabilities.


Understanding Migraine in the Workplace

The WAM Programme at AHEAD ran a free training webinar aimed at current WAM employers and potential WAM employers.

When: Thursday April 18th 2024 from 11.30am – 1.00pm.

What: An online session which sought to provide awareness and understanding about migraine in the workplace. The webinar ran in partnership with the Migraine Association of Ireland.

More about WAM: The WAM programme is the transition to employment initiative of AHEAD. It offers graduates with disabilities the benefit of a 6-month minimum fully paid and mentored work placement with high profile employers. WAM was established in 2005 and, to date, have placed over 670 graduates with both private and public sector employers.

Event information

Migraine is the most complex neurobiological condition, affecting between 12-15% of people worldwide. It is the 7th most disabling disease worldwide affecting three times more women than men (Migraine Ireland, 2024).

According to AHEAD’s report on Students with Disabilities Engaged with Support Services in Higher Education in Ireland for the academic period 2020/21 there are nearly 18,000 students with disabilities in higher education and 6.6% of whom had a neurological disability (AHEAD, 2022).

The aim of this webinar was to provide an understanding of migraine and discuss how migraine can impact on individuals on a day to day basis with an emphasis on the potential impact on work and what supports are available to employees and employers.

This webinar was hosted by Wyndham Chalmers, WAM Project Officer in AHEAD, with a featured presentation from Pascal Derrien and Deirdre Ni Mhórdha of Migraine Association of Ireland, as well as a personal account from Claire Bradley on living with migraine. The webinar then wraped up with a question-and-answer session.

 About our speakers

Wyndham Chalmers

Wyndham has a bachelor's degree and two master’s degrees in the area of psychology and research. She has a particular interest in wellbeing psychology and has previously conducted research in the areas of stress reappraisal, transgenerational resilience, emotional intelligence and workplace readiness. Professionally, Wyndham has worked in a number of civic and social organisations, both in the United States and in Ireland, with roles including Cognitive Skills Trainer, Specialist Support Worker, Life Skills Online Supporter and is now a Project Officer with the WAM Team at AHEAD. With experience working in both the homeless and disability sectors, Wyndham is wholeheartedly committed to fostering positive support networks and leveraging her expertise to make a meaningful impact on the lives of those in need.

Pascal Derrien

Pascal became CEO of Migraine Ireland in 2021. He is a native of France and graduated from the Sorbonne. He worked for Sony in France before coming to Ireland in 1998 and worked for Gateway, before spending 14 years with Microsoft.  He has worked in several roles in the not-for-profit sector, most recently as General Manager of SPADE ( a community-based enterprise centre for social enterprises).

Deirdre Ni Mhórdha

Deirdre is the Patient Support Officer for Migraine Ireland where she has worked for the past 10 years in a variety of roles. Her background is in Social Care where she worked in St. Michael's House, the HSE, and Strand Street School and Day Centre for Traveller Children (now Exchange House National Travellers Service).

Claire Bradley

I have been working in the Banking and Financial Services industry, for almost 40 years. Currently, I provide third party risk management advice to our businesses, in 13 countries across Europe and APAC. My remit has been primarily virtual, sometimes managing global teams, since well before Covid. Now, due to the challenges of chronic migraine, I work from home full time. I am a 3rd generation migraineur. Both my children now in their 20's, are part of the 4th generation, and the one generation most severely impacted. 

Watch back on this WAMinar

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