Business Disability Forum Conference 2016

BDF conference 2016
Disabled people have a huge amount of talent and potential to offer business. It’s important we all work together to dispel the myths, fear and real or perceived barriers on both sides to ensure people find their place to shine.
Claire Harvey, British Paralympian and Senior Inclusive Leadership Consultant at KPMG

Theme: Recruiting and retaining disabled talent

Business Disability Forum’s (BDF’s) 2016 conference took place on 20 April 2016. The main topic of the day was the recruitment and retention of disabled talent. Based on our research findings in our report ‘State of the Nation: Retaining and Developing Employees with Disabilities’, the conference featured a full agenda of speakers, panel discussion and workshops led by employers and specialists from our membership, sharing what works in retaining and recruiting employees with disabilities and long term health conditions.

News and press releases about the conference


Our photos from the event can be viewed on our Facebook page.


George Selvanera Justin Tomlinson MP Kate Nash OBE

George Selvanera, Director of Policy, Services & Communications at Business Disability Forum

Justin Tomlinson, Minister for Disabled People

Kate Nash OBE, Networkologist and Founder of PurpleSpace

Claire Harvey  

Claire Harvey, Paralympian and Senior Inclusive Leadership Consultant at KPMG

Yasmin Sheikh, Disability Consultant, Lawyers with Disabilities Division of the Law Society

Jules Lockett, Practice Learning Manager, London Ambulance Service

Matt Reed Henrietta Spalding Barry Fletcher 

Matt Reed, Dir. Employer Services, Remploy Ltd

Henrietta Spalding, Head of Advocacy, Changing Faces

 Barry Fletcher, COO, Ingeus

Pete Holliday Dr Nasser Siabi OBE Geoff Adams-Spink, Director, Adams-Spink Ltd. 

Pete Holliday, Managing Director, Sopra Steria Recruitment

Dr Nasser Siabi OBE, CEO Microlink PC Ltd

 Geoff Adams-Spink Director, Adams-Spink Ltd.

Anne Foster Chris Watkins  

Anne Foster, Head of Diversity and Inclusion, House of Commons

Christopher Watkins, Disability Consultant, Business Disability Forum



Click here to download a copy of the full day agenda (PDF)


Our afternoon workshops on disability confidence were led by Lloyds Banking Group and Kate Nash OBE.

"Using work experience to improve disability confidence"

Delegates heard about how Lloyds Banking Group used DWEP (Disability Work Experience Programme) in collaboration with Remploy to boost disability confidence and help disabled people build their skills and readiness for work, enhancing future employability. Table discussion focused around the value of such placements, barriers and challenges and gave the delegates the chance to share experiences of targeted development programmes.

"Disability confidence - from the inside out"

We all talk about disability confidence, but what does that mean for our disabled employees?

In this workshop, Kate Nash, OBE, Networkologist and Creator of PurpleSpace, helped delegates to think about the “mirror-image” of disability confidence from the perspective of our disabled employees. She drew from the research that came from Secrets & Big News and the work PurpleSpace is doing to create a definition of a ‘disability confident’ individual. 








Matchware logo


Skill Boosters logo

Skill Boosters




Venue and accessibility

The conference was held at 20 Cavendish Sqaure. 20 Cavendish Square is the headquarters of BDF Member The Royal College of Nursing. Centrally located in Marylebone, the venue is fully accessible and close to transport links.

For more information about the venue, please visit the 20 Cavendish Square website here. 








Business Disability Forum is committed to ensuring that all its products and services are as accessible as possible to everyone, including disabled people. If you wish to discuss anything with regard to accessibility at this event please contact us.