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As a multi-award-winning Disability Advocate, Deborah’s pioneering efforts to create a more accessible and inclusive society have made a significant impact in the UK. She’s played a leading role across the UK in advancing DEI, and her work and impact span many sectors. These include healthcare, retail, fashion, housing, community, disabled rights, policy reform, accessibility improvements, transforming attitudinal barriers, and peer support. She’s successfully influenced sector leaders, professors, managers, head offices, businesses, national and local government, and communities. Deborah’s recognised as one of the most influential disabled changemakers in the UK and, over the last two decades, has improved the lives of hundreds of thousands of disabled people.

Since her teens, some of her achievements include playing a pivotal role in making thousands of buildings, businesses and events across the UK more accessible and inclusive for tens of thousands of disabled people. She developed a comprehensive staff training program implemented in over 600 large stores nationwide. This initiative has benefited thousands of disabled individuals by increasing disability awareness, enhancing customer service, and fostering a more inclusive workplace culture. She’s supported thousands of disabled individuals and their families to ensure their voices are heard, and her website provides a range of resources aimed at businesses, organisations and individuals seeking to enhance their understanding of disability-related issues. Deborah’s ‘Disability Awareness PDF,’ for example, is used by local government and has been downloaded thousands of times by businesses and organisations. Furthermore, she’s authored a children’s book, ‘Damson’s Friendship Wish,’ promoting self-acceptance, kindness and inclusion, due to be released in August.

She’s been featured internationally, nationally and locally in the media and described as a ‘trailblazer,’ an ‘extraordinary woman who has done amazing things,’ and a ‘kind, strong, exceptional role model.’ Her expertise also extends to the fashion industry, where her previous work as a fashion and editorial makeup artist and stylist gave her firsthand experience of the industry’s lack of diversity and inclusion. Drawing on this experience, Deborah developed professional, accessible fashion guidance implemented in over 500 major stores, making fashion more accessible for thousands of disabled people. She also provided extensive and in-depth resources to individuals and fashion retailers, ensuring the widespread adoption of her pioneering approach. Her efforts filled a significant gap in the industry and set new standards for accessibility and inclusion.

To ensure change is made at a policy level, she’s a member of The Regional Stakeholder Network, which reports to the government on various policies affecting disabled people, including transport, housing, and employment. Deborah also works with and advises local government on all aspects of disability awareness and chairs a council advisory group focused on improving accessibility for thousands of disabled residents. She collaborates with the CEO at Oxford University’s Centre for Research Equity to address health inequalities through more inclusive practices. Additionally, she serves as a member of the Trial Steering Committee for the largest and most successful trials of therapeutics for SARS-CoV-2 infection worldwide, aiming to improve the outcomes for thousands of disabled individuals. She is also a committee member and co-applicant for an upcoming major study seeking treatments for individuals at a higher risk of respiratory illness complications. Deborah is a member of various panels, including the Housing Ombudsman, and she also serves on the Governance Board for Oxford University’s research centre.

Just before her 5 years at uni, she had an accident that exacerbated her pre-existing disabilities, leaving her unable to sit or use her wheelchair for a considerable length of time. Instead of deferring, she persevered in extreme pain, lying flat on her back in bed with a screen suspended above her head. Deborah graduated at the top of her class. However, her resilience was tested again when she lost her home and belongings in a devastating house fire just weeks before graduating. Despite being homeless, she still attended her graduation to receive her First-Class Honours degree. This experience is just one of many challenges that Deborah has faced throughout her life.

Since her teens, Deborah’s advocacy work has benefited hundreds of thousands of disabled people. Despite being a powered wheelchair user and having multiple complex and severe physical and neurological disabilities that require a significant amount of care and support and leave her in daily debilitating pain, she remains passionate about advocating for a more accessible and inclusive world where everyone is valued and treated with the dignity and respect they deserve.