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Disability Sector Experience

July 2018 - Present: Founding Chair, Association of Disabled Lawyers

 

I founded the Association of Disabled Lawyers and am responsible for all aspects of the Association's activities. I have used my experience and knowledge of charity governance to set up and write Articles of Association.

I use networking skills to utilise my connections across the legal professions. This includes reaching out to disabled practitioners, the Bar Council and various chambers. I have also engaged with the Bar Standards Board and the Solicitors’ Regulatory Authority to support their diversity efforts and build relationships. I have also provided workshops for the BSB.

I designed and maintained the Association's website and membership building on social media. I also write newsletters. I organise our meetings too. This involves the difficult task of finding a mutually convenient time and venue.

I often represent the Association by working with other organisations interested in equality and diversity. For example, I presented at the Bar Standards Board’s Bar Professional Training Course regarding how to support disabled students and increase the number of disabled applicants, which required engaging content and confident speaking. I also engaged with the audience when answering questions. I also chaired the All Bar None event at the ‘Legally Disabled?’ Conference.

I have become a recognised leader in disability equality in the legal professions through the quality of the activities above. Such skills will help me build a practice as a barrister. 

Our work was recognised at the British Diversity Awards 2023, where we were shortlisted.

August 2021 - Present: Committee AllBar

 

I assisted Rebecca Griffith, AllBar's founder, in laying the foundations of the organisation. This included the values of the group and its infrastructure. We want to support disabled barristers by hosting events, creating a support network of disabled barristers and their allies, and seeking to provide meaningful work experience opportunities for disabled pupillage applicants.

We have a steering group of disabled and non-disabled barristers, pupil barristers and aspiring barristers in England and Wales. I am currently on a break to allow me to focus on pupillage.

September 2022 - Present: Committee Middle Temple Disability Forum

I founded the Middle Temple Disability Forum. The Disability Forum supports, advises, and encourages members of Middle Temple who identify as a disabled person or have a long-term physical, sensory or mental health condition. The Forum is an inclusive organisation and welcomes allies; non-disabled people are encouraged to support and participate in initiatives organised by the Forum.

The Forum considers the following specific objectives when considering its activities:

  • Offering education and guidance on disability issues for members;

  • Providing support and visibility to disabled staff and members;

  • Combatting and addressing problems facing disabled members of the Inn;

  • Promoting the accessibility of facilities and organisations within the Inn;

  • Advocating for the optimal accessibility of the Inn’s facilities to as many disabled people as possible;

  • Forming links with other existing charities, networks, and organisations whose objectives correlate with our own;

  • Supporting the continuing work of the Inn to make the Bar an inclusive, accessible, and educated space for its members and employees.

December 2021 - Present: Governor/Advisory Committee Pictor Academy

The Advisory Committee is primarily concerned with safeguarding pupils and the financial welfare of the school. My main focus is the personal development of the pupils. This role means I lead the school's efforts in maximising the opportunities and growth available to each pupil.

I helped develop a strategy for mitigating the impact of the strikes on pupils who need high levels of support.

 

Jan 2011 - Jan 2018: Founding Director, Being Disabled in a Normal Society 

 

I founded 'BDNS' as a blog discussing the issues faced by disabled people. The project was then expanded into an entire website in 2013, explaining disability rights and providing information regarding accessible venues, social events, sporting activities and holiday venues whilst continuing with the blog. 

I directed a team of award-winning individuals to guide BDNS into new avenues. The initiative must be shown in confidently guiding the organisation into new projects and directions. Managing a group can be difficult but is best achieved by allowing sufficient freedom for independent thinking and responsibility.

I researched and summarised legal issues and points of law to create accessible information about and analysis of the rights of disabled people and other protections available. I expanded my knowledge of applying discrimination, administration and human rights law to disabled people. 

I maintained the website and a presence on Facebook and Twitter. This included writing blogs and commenting on the news while ensuring the legal information was obsolete. This experience enabled me to work comfortably on websites and social networks, engage with our audience, and assess our impact. 

Dec 2014 - Dec 2019: Trustee & Chair of the Income Generation Committee, Disability Rights UK

As part of the Board of Trustees, I made sure the charity ran well and achieved its aims as part of the Board of Trustees. This included ensuring the charity: had the money it needed; spent its money sensibly on the activities for which it was raised; followed the law, including preparing reports and accounts to send to the Charity Commission.

I often persuaded experienced Trustees to my view, which will help convince the Court. For example, I swayed the Trustees to keep membership equal regardless of whether it is for an individual or an organisation.  

 

As Chair of the Income Generation Committee, I worked with people at all levels of the organisation to identify revenue opportunities. I supported the Head of Business Management in reaching his targets. I mediated meetings and led the conversation as Chair, too, emphasising everyone having a chance to speak. My legacy as Chair was ending the Committee after it became less significant to operations despite the development and implementation of a more effective regime that reduced the administrative burdens of regular meetings.

I co-authored DR UK's submission to the Equality Act 2010 and Disability Committee. I also served on the Enable Fund panel. After applying the criteria to the case facts, I also wrote judgements as to whether an applicant is entitled to funding for reasonable adjustments in their campaign for political office.

I provided support and guidance to a disabled junior manager. He wanted career progression into a more senior role. I helped to nurture his communication skills to facilitate a dialogue with his superiors. This also enabled him to get the support he needed to thrive. 

Jun 2016 - Oct 2018: Policies and Procedures Executive and Students' and Young People's Organisations Executive, Regard

 

I wrote and maintained policies and procedures to ensure the charity’s legal compliance. For example, when writing the vulnerable beneficiaries policy, I researched the relevant laws and government guidance to discover which were applicable. This was particularly pertinent when I wrote this policy because, as disabled people, we are all labelled ‘vulnerable’ in law. It required me to develop my analytical skills and ability to process large quantities of information.

Liaising with youth groups and student organisations allowed me to hone skills relating to engaging with people from outside the organisation. This role also presented opportunities at large organisations like the University of Greenwich. I also developed my ability to give information and train people about building inclusive communities.

All Executive Committee members worked remotely. The role, therefore, requires self-determination, commitment and motivation to write policies and procedures and liaise with youth groups without peer pressure or an office base.

Aug 2010 - Oct 2011: Marketing and Advertising, Spokz People

This role entailed giving out leaflets to those who wanted them and providing interested parties with information about the charity. This role required self-motivation and determination to work for weeks without supervision or guidance, as I was required to work isolated from headquarters and other volunteers. Good proofreading ability was demanded when assisting with the creation of leaflets.

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