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Image of Diane LightfootDiane is responsible for leading and shaping all aspects of Business Disability Forum’s strategy and delivery and for representing the organisation at the highest levels of business and government. 

As part of her role, Diane sits on a number of boards including the Government’s Disability Expert Advisory Panel, Work Autism, and the Institute of Coding’s Diversity & Inclusion Board. She is Chair of the Disabled Students’ Stakeholder Group and in her spare time is Chair of the Challenging Behaviour Foundation. 

Prior to joining Business Disability Forum in February 2017 Diane was Director of Policy and Communications for United Response, a leading national disability charity. Whilst at United Response, Diane also took on strategic leadership of the organisation’s employment services as a whole and she is passionate about the role that good work has to play in transforming people’s lives. 

Before joining United Response, Diane held leadership roles at NCVO and the Pre-school Learning Alliance and has over 20 years’ experience of working in the charity sector. 

Connect with Diane on Linked In 

Image of David GoodchildDavid engages works with businesses to show them how Business Disability Forum can enhance disability inclusion across in their organization. You are likely to meet David if you are thinking of becoming a member of Business Disability Forum. 

Over his 15 years at Business Disability Forum David has also been responsible for the marketing and communications, events, tailored training, consultancy, strategic alliances, and project development teams, including lead responsibility for the original development of Business Disability Forum’s Disability Standard. 

Prior to joining Business Disability Forum David’s career was mainly focused on media and publishing; beginning as a journalist and moving through the ranks with various publishing houses as features’ writer, editor, publisher and ultimately with directorial roles responsible for newspapers, supplements, e-commerce, marketing, events and contract publishing. 

For a short period in the late 90s David moved away from publishing to take on a role as business development director for a growing web development company, seeing annual turnover during his tenure rise from £2m to £6m. His clients at that time included EMI, Interflora, Boots, Delia Smith, IPC Media, Emap, Reed and many more. 

Image of Bela GorBela is responsible for the design and content of Business Disability Forum Events including our Conferences and new products such as Toolkits as well as for the Disability Smart Awards. 

She is a lawyer with over 20 years’ of all aspects of disability discrimination law and best practice in: 

  • providing high-level consultancy support to business and government agencies leading reviews and improvement processes for organisations including banks and government agencies. 
  • writing best practice guidance including the People Manager Guide series and the Mental Health Toolkit 
  • designing, writing and producing e-learning on disability and mental health. 
  • providing regular analyses and updates on discrimination law.
  • delivering training on all aspects of disability, mental health and the law.                    

Bela has worked closely with the financial, retail, broadcast media and health sectors and advises on a variety of subjects ranging from the law and reasonable adjustments in both employment and customer contexts to consumers in vulnerable situations and mental health.  Before joining Business Disability Forum she represented disabled clients in some of the earliest cases under the then new Disability Discrimination Act 1995 to test the new law and has influenced the development of the legislation. She continues to write and speak about how disability legislation might be failing disabled people and business and the need for revision and review.

Image of Angela MatthewsAngela joined Business Disability Forum in 2013. She develops our responses to Government and other policy related consultations and enquiries and is also a specialist adviser to some Government departments and policy related projects on disability, social policy, and businesses managementShe also leads BDF’s research projects, included our funded research programs, such as our project to support small and medium size businesses in London to develop disability inclusion as employers and providers of products and services, and she is often invited to be a non-academic adviser on academic research groups. She is regularly interviewed by and writes for HR and occupational health related trade publications, and she regularly speaks at conferences and panel events, and has also appeared on Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour. 

Angela’s career spans from dementia care services and occupational therapy (mental health and physical rehabilitation) to HR and equalities management. As a HR specialist in disability and workplace adjustments, Angela focused on disability-related employee casework, workplace adjustments procedures, equalities data management, and related employee relations casesShe then became an advisor to senior management teams and governing bodies on equality and discrimination law in practice in the public sector, with a particular interest in developing strategic equalities analysis procedures for organisational improvement. She has enjoyed serving as a volunteer advisor at local ‘blue light’ diversity forums on race, disability, religion and belief, and sexual orientation hate crime. 

She is academically qualified (BA Hons, PgCertPgDip, MPhil) in religion and equalities, human rights and discrimination law, and social philosophy, and was trained by some of the lawyers who drafted the Equality Act 2010. She is a member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD). 

In her own time, Angela is a classical musician and coffee lover. She leads the Kent branch of the National Society for Phenlyketonuria (PKU), which provides a support group for people with PKU and their relatives and carers. 

Connect with Angela on LinkedIn  

Image of Adrian WardAdrian leads the teams responsible for all relationships with Business Disability Forum’s Members and Partners as well as overseeing our consultancy and learning and development services. Adrian is an experienced disability consultant and has an extensive background in human resources within the public sector, specialising in diversity and inclusion.   

Adrian spent several years as a regional diversity and inclusion manager providing strategic guidance and advice to a large operational business area within the public sector. Prior to that he was the Chief Welfare Officer leading a team of staff counsellors and had overall responsibility for the department’s wellbeing strategy. 

Before joining Business Disability Forum, Adrian led a diversity and inclusion experts team within a large Civil Service organisation specialising in all aspects of disability as well as leading on Public Sector Equality Duty work. Adrian has practical experience of developing departmental policies (including disability-specific policies) and procedures and overseeing effective implementation of these.  

Adrian is also a qualified mediator with nearly 15 years of conflict resolution experience across the public, private and third sectors. As well as providing mediation services Adrian has developed a neutral diagnostic tool designed to help organisations resolve disability-related complaints, grievances or systemic issues using a constructive, blame-free process. 

Adrian and his son are season ticket holders at Brentford Football Club so weekends are often consumed watching the beautiful game. 

Image of Rick WilliamsRick is a Chartered Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) and has been working in the field of disability and equality for 20 years. He is an experienced consultant and trainer with a high level of expertise in disability issues, their impact on individuals, and their importance to organisations. 

Rick has worked with many organisations in a wide range of areas at both a national and international level. He has worked with many Business Disability Forum Partners and Members and has a proven track record of providing project-based consultancy to support organisations develop their approach to employing disabled people and achieving barrier-free services. As part of this work he was one of the co-authors of the ClickAway Pound reports which assessed the impact of inaccessible websites on both business and disabled people. 

Prior to working in the field of disability, Rick was employed at a senior level in the Health and Safety Executive and, before leaving in 2001, was the Regional Development Manager for the London and South East Region. These factors, combined with his visual impairment, give him a unique understanding of how to support organisations in becoming disability-smart. 

  

Image of Barnaby PowellBarnaby is responsible for HR and facilities management at BDF. He also leads the BDF’s internal Accessibility Working Group, whose aim is to ensure everything BDF does internally for staff is as accessible and useable as possible. 

Barnaby joined BDF in 2007 and has previously worked in HR in both private and public sector organisations. 

When not at work Barnaby enjoys cycling, martial arts and football. 

Image of Karen CuttsKaren joined Business Disability Forum in 2018. She started her research career over 25 years ago and has worked in various environments in that time. Having started out in business research Karen moved into a role with a focus on social policy research approximately 15 years ago. Most of her experience has been in research agencies, her most recent role was within the social policy division of GfK (formerly NOP). 

Karen is highly experienced in all quantitative methodologies and is also skilled in facilitating qualitative fieldwork and thematic analysis. She has worked with a range of large, private sector organisations and central government departments. A range of clients and research briefs over the years has ensured that Karen has a solid grounding in all aspects of research design and project set up, management of fieldwork and impactful reporting and presentations. 

Image of Ruth FisherRuth joined Business Disability Forum in 2017. Her key departmental responsibilities include working with clients to determine their current and emerging development needs, designing bespoke learning programmes, delivering learning solutions and conducting assessments and evaluation. 

Ruth has several years of experience as a learning and development manager, both as an in-house specialist and a private consultant helping businesses to meet strategic objectives through various learning solutions. She has a background working in diversity and inclusion in a senior leadership as well as various HR and organisation development roles.  

Her focus is primarily on the outcome of enhancing people and organisational capability. She has brought this focus to her work within the public sector, private sector and volunteer sector internationally. Ruth has lead initiatives that develop and promote good practice in equality and diversity, mental health, performance management, customer experience, sales and marketing and employee engagement. She provides a range of advice, coaching and learning solutions to organisations across Europe, Asia, North America and Africa, and has worked with global organisations including EUROClio and UNESCO. 

  

Image of Brendan RoachBrendan joined Business Disability Forum in 2006and he has nearly 15 years’ experience supporting organizations on all aspects of improving disability inclusion in business at strategic level 

Brendan has specialized in working with the private sector, particularly the professional services and financial services sectors, and is experienced in working with senior leaders on furthering diversity and disability inclusion in their people agendas.  

Brendan develops and leads on the delivery of our global strategy. He created what is now our Global Taskforce, which exists to produce tools and research on global disability inclusion practice. ability Forum’s global strategy. 

Brendan leads our international consultancy projects and is a regular speaker and various international conferences. 

Connect with Brendan on LinkedIn 

Image of Lucy RuckLucy joined Business Disability Forum in 2014. Since then Lucy has been leading the Technology Taskforce. This includes developing the resources available as part of the Technology Taskforce’s toolkit of information. This includes a large selection of best practice guides and case studies, which are about how our Members and Partners have become more Disability Smart by using technology. 

 Lucy also manages the Customer Taskforce and the Northern England Network bringing her expertise and energy to these groups. 

Lucy has previous experience of working within private, public and third sector organisations, predominantly within their ICT departments. Her knowledge brings a combination of technical understanding, communication, and customer service skills. Whilst working at a local authority, Lucy was also the Chair of the staff disability network. 

In 2015, she supported Scope with their DDA 20 campaign and was involved in a short film that they made, marking the 20th anniversary of the Disability Discrimination Act. 

Lucy is a lifetime member of the Limbless Association, and sits on their board of directors as a trustee. 

Image of Michelle WickendenMichelle joined Business Disability Forum in 2013. She worked for several years within local authority as the Disabled Students Manager, working with students entering Higher Education – providing financial support via the Disabled Students Allowance. 

Michelle worked at the Student Loans Company (SLC) as Student Finance Consultant working with higher education and universities providing information, advice, and guidance on changes within student finance’.

Shortly after commencing this role, Michelle was seconded to the position of Diversity Manager within the SLC working with both internal and external stakeholders to implement the changes of the Equality Act 2010.

This included undertaking equality impact assessments, customer insight surveys, chairing disability working groups, presenting at seminars and providing training to internal and external stakeholders in workshop style events. She was responsible for developing and delivering SLC’s roadshows, which targeted at the Disabled Students Allowance 2009/2010, 2010/2011 before moving in 2011 to the role as Business Development Manager for a specialist provider in disability services in independent assistive technology training.   

Image of Ebunola AdenipekunEbunola joined Business Disability Forum in 2018. Ebun has a degree and Master’s degree in journalism and has worked in various editorial, communications and social media-related roles before joining Business Disability Forum. 

Outside of work, Ebun is an avid music listener, pub quizzer and online karaoke singer, as well as being a keen artist with an interest in fashion illustration. 

Liam leads the advice team which advises Members and Partners on inquiries relating to disability within their organisations. He has a keen interest in reducing barriers within organisations, and to equip managers with the tools, knowledge and confidence in order to create an accessible and enriching environment for all.    

His most recent role entailed working within the early careers space at Deutsche Bank. He also has a broad HR generalist experience, working across the engineering, not-for-profit and logistics sectors. Liam has also worked within the disability employment advisory space, working for the learning disability charity, Mencap. He has coached and advised both employees and employers on workplace adjustments and improving on disability accessibility within the workplace; as well as being an advocate for disability throughout his career.  

Liam has just recently completed his MSc in Organisational Psychology at the University of Kent, combining the fields of HR and social psychology into one research area. He has researched and specialised in the field of hidden disability bias and discrimination within recruitment, aiming to implement and develop his obtained knowledge further. He is a member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) and is also currently working towards his postgraduate CIPD qualification. Liam is an avid cricket fan and a developing mixed martial arts observer; playing cricket since he can remember and starting out his training in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu at the end of 2019.   

Connect with Liam on LinkedIn. 

Davina Critchley

Davina works as a Senior Business Disability Partner at Business Disability Forum, working alongside businesses, providing high-level consultancy support on a range of processes to enable them to become disability-smart.

Davina has held a number of posts including HR roles in city-based law firms, working as a teacher of English for speakers of other languages (ESOL) and adult literacy before becoming a dyslexia specialist tutor and then a qualified assessor in 2011. The latter qualification enables Davina to administer a range of diagnostic and standardised test so that she can make formal diagnoses of dyslexia.

Davina has worked across the education sector and was the Head of Inclusion at a further education college, leading a large team of teachers and specialists where she was responsible for ensuring that all students with additional needs were supported. Before joining Business Disability Forum, she lead the inclusion team at a sixth form college predominately supporting students with mental health challenges.

Fleur Donnelly-JacksonFleur joined Business Disability Forum as a Senior Business Disability Partner at Business Disability Forum in 2020.

Prior to joining Business Disability Forum, Fleur worked in roles for 10 years in the public and third sectors, providing access advice, consultancy and disability inclusion training. She has worked in Campaigns and Policy teams at RNIB, Crisis, Leonard Cheshire, and Guide Dogs to campaign on issues of financial inclusion, and the accessibility of transport and patient health information. She has experience of managing large volunteer programmes with a focus of opening up opportunities for disabled people to participate, e.g. the Big Lottery-funded ‘Can Do’ programme and Tate Gallery’s volunteer programme.

She has chaired several Access networks, including Tate’s staff disability network, working with senior leaders in the arts sector to improve their inclusion agendas for disabled staff and visitors. She is currently a member of The Horniman Museum’s access advisory panel, and outside of work is a practising artist and local councillor.

At Business Disability Forum Fleur acts as a Strategic Advisor to several large public and private sector organisations.

Image of Keith HarrisKeith joined Business Disability Forum in 2007. His experience is in building and maintaining effective business relationships with a wide range of members across the public and private sectors, supporting them to further their disability agenda over time. He specialises in supporting organisations in the legal, retail, central government, and higher education sectors to increase accessibility, productivity and profitability. 

Prior to joining Business Disability Forum, Keith owned a fish restaurant so retains a keen interest in food and wine. 

Outside of work, Keith is a proud husband with 2 kids, and is a huge fan of jazz music. 

Connect with Keith on LinkedIn 

Image of Courtney SwabyCourtney joined Business Disability Forum in 2014. Courtney’s proven strength is in his ability to build and manage different types of relationships at all levels of a business. He has extensive experience in listening and understanding the needs of organisations and being able to impart his knowledge of disability as it affects business. The organisations he works with often comment on how visible Courtney’s passion is for the inclusion of disabled people and that you sometimes have to treat people differently to treat them fairly”.   

Courtney specialises in supporting organisations within the finance, emergency services and law enforcement, IT, and insurance sectors. He is also a member of the accessibility and passenger stakeholder group for London City airport. 

His previous role was with an organisation that looked at the accessibility of websites. Courtney is a qualified mentor and is trained in counselling. 

Courtney has spoken at events on disability in BAME communities and on businesses getting the foundations of disability inclusion in place. He is also a regular attendee at WharfAbility, a network of corporate professionals across London who are engaged in the disability inclusion in business agenda. 

Outside of work, Courtney is the frontman for a covers band, The Love Handles. 

Connect with Courtney on LinkedIn. 

Image of Karan SnuggsKaran joined Business Disability Forum in 2017. Karan has a varied background with 20 years’ experience within the NHS . A change of career Karan moved into Welfare to Work, as a senior consultant worked on various government contracts aiding long-term unemployed lone parents back into work. As a trained Mediator Karan has extensive experience and an understanding of both building and maintaining relationships.

Karan has a large family and enjoys spending time with them.

It’s not all about the family, Karan is diehard Chelsea FC fan and member of the club for over 50 years.

Image of Clare CromartyClare has worked in the field of disability and equality for 15 years. She has in-depth knowledge and experience in all aspects of the disability, diversity and inclusion agenda. She is a Chartered Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD). 

Clare has delivered a wide range of consultancy and training to Business Disability Forum Partners and Members as well as other organisations at a national and international level. Her specialisms include policy and organisational reviews on which she has written guidance for major organisations. 

Clare is an experienced HR, employment law, and management development specialist. Clare has a hearing impairment which gives her a good insight into the lived experience of someone who has a disability. This, combined with her professional skills and experience, gives her a full understanding of the issues on which she works. 

Graeme is a Senior Consultant with Business Disability Forum with a career in IT starting in the 1980s which led him to becoming an expert in Digital Accessibility in the early 2000s. His work in this field was recognised in 2009 by being awarded Outstanding Contribution by an Individual at the UK Financial Sector Technology Awards. In 2010 he wrote the procurement annex for BS 8878, a British Standard 

on Web Accessibility.

Transitioning into a full-time disability management role at Lloyds Banking Group in 2010, he became recognised as an expert on matters relating to disability in business and a well-known agent of change. His key achievements included creating an award-winning approach to making workplace adjustments for disabled employees at Lloyds Banking Group, and leading the creation of the Dementia Friendly Financial Services charter whilst representing the UK banking sector on the Prime Minister’s Dementia Challenge 2012-15. 

Graeme takes a pan-b

usiness approach to helping companies embed best practice on disability and inclusion with workplace adjustments as a core focus. His clients include Channel 4 Television (where he was their Disability Specialist and created their free guide for the media sector on employing disabled talent), Ofcom, Financial Ombudsman Service, Nuclear Decommissioning Authority and RNIB.

He was a member of the steering committee that formed the Government’s Disability Confident scheme and still works closely with the Office of Disability Issues on the scheme and other elements of Government support such as Access to Work and the recently published framework for voluntary disability data reporting.

Graeme was awarded an MBE in 2016 for his services to people with dementia and disabilities.

Jan has been working in the field of access and inclusive design for over twenty years. She is a registered occupational therapist and gained a postgraduate diploma in Environmental Access from the Architectural Association in 1997. Since then Jan has developed extensive experience of working with many organisations across the UK to assist them in developing environments and services that are inclusive and welcoming. Jan’s experience extends across a wide range of settings including cinemas, museums, historic buildings, offices and the countryside. Her advice is straightforward and practical – based on her knowledge and considerable expertise in access consultancy and many years of experience of working closely with people who experience barriers to access. Jan is also an experienced group facilitator and frequently carries out consultation as part of a wider access consultancy brief.

Image of Kerry SmithKerry has worked in the field of disability for 15 years. Most recently she has run her own disability consultancy, before which she worked at Business Disability Forum. 

While there, Kerry provided training, consultancy and advice to Partners and Members on a broad range of issues. During this time, she developed a range of new initiatives and tools and broke new ground in setting up Member networks and in her work on non-visible disabilities. 

While running her own specialist disability consultancy, Kerry developed a unique approach to supporting organisations to become disability savvy. Her Are you being served? programme focused on serving the individual while maintaining core business and enabling world-class customer service for all. 

Kerry has a non-visible disability and her lived experience is used with insight and sensitivity to illustrate the issues both to individuals and organisations. 

Image of Adam CaseyAdam joined the Business Disability Forum in June 2017. He is responsible for the organisation and delivery of Business Disability Forum’s events programme. 

Adam began his events career at the Globe Theatre supporting on large scale public and family events. He then moved on to the London Science Museum working on the Science Museum evening event programme and an array of other events before progressing to support on large scale gallery openings and private functions across the museum. He later continued to develop his skills at the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, organising large fundraising dinners and events at prestigious venues across London and the UK. 

Outside of work, Adam enjoys climbing, sport, music, and travel. 

Image of Emily JacksonEmily works in the Advice Service offering guidance to human resources professionals, line managers, and service providers on all aspects of disability as it relates to business.  

Emily’s key interests are intersectionality, mental health, and making effective adjustments for employees to ensure the workplace is inclusive, supportive and barrier-free. 

Joining Business Disability Forum in 2015, Emily began her career as Press Officer, working with journalists and media outlets to raise effective awareness of disability best practice as evidenced across business. Emily then moved into the consultancy team where she co-delivered projects including increasing employment opportunities for disabled people in Camden (CamdenAbility) and international consultancy work with Saudi Rehab Group. 

Before joining Business Disability Forum, Emily worked as a Public Relations and Marketing Coordinator for one of the UK’s leading live sound and event production companies, where she wrote articles for professional audio magazines and live events publications. 

Emily studied Sociology and Politics at the University of Birmingham, graduating with a 2:1 BA Hons in 2011. 

Outside of work, Emily is a keen musician and played in several bands growing up in Manchester.  

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