Scottish conference

Business Disability Forum. Disability in Scotland: going places. Hosted by RBS.
The theme of our conference is ‘Going places’ – both literally in terms of inclusive tourism and the accessibility of the sites and attractions of Scotland and going places in terms of the wide and varied career aspirations of disabled people and progression within the workplace.
Diane Lightfoot, Chief Executive Officer at Business Disability Forum

Generously hosted by Royal Bank of Scotland

Business Disability Forum is delighted to announce its first Scottish Conference, Disability in Scotland – going places. This free conference on Tuesday 5 December 2017, kindly hosted by RBS at their superb Edinburgh Headquarters marks the UN International Day of People with a Disability. 

Our speakers


Diane Lightfoot

Chief Executive Officer

Business Disability Forum


Dr. Philip Friend OBE FRSA


Phil & Friends Ltd


Professor Kate Sang

Professor of Gender and Employment Studies

Heriot Watt University


Chris McCoy MBE

Equality & Diversity Manager & Head of the Accessible Tourism Project



Bela Gor

Head of Campaigns, Resources & Legal

Business Disability Forum


Angela Matthews

Advice Service Manager

Business Disability Forum 



Bruce Gunn


Delivery Next Day Personally



Naill McShannon

Managing Director

CCI Scotland 



Hardeep Rai

Founder and Managing

DirectorKaleidoscope Investments




Jen Calder  

Jen Calder

Business Partner, Organisational and Leadership Development

NHS Education for Scotland

Kristi Long  


Inclusive tourism

Speaker Chris McCoy, Equality and Diversity Manager from Visit Scotland will be bringing the perspective of business in the vibrant Scottish tourism industry.

The amount spent by disabled and older tourists from the domestic market alone has gone up by 9% between 2009 and 2015 accounting for some £1.3 billion pounds. Few hotels, restaurants and attractions in Scotland can afford to miss out on this market. With other European countries keen to attract disabled and older visitors and Glasgow about to host the European Championships in 2018, Chris will demonstrate a new access tool developed with Visit England that will help businesses showcase how they welcome disabled tourists.

Disability and career development

The conference will give delegates the opportunity to hear first-hand experiences from business professionals, education and banking who will discuss the barriers and opportunities faced when trying to develop your career when you have a disability or a long term health condition.

Professor Kate Sang from Heriot Watt University will be speaking about her research into the opportunities and barriers people with a disability or health condition experience when pursuing a career in academia. Professor Sang will provide profound insights into the transition from being a student with a disability to an academic working with a disability as well as talking about the stigma associated with acquiring a disability, intersectionality with race and gender and the idea of an “ideal academic”. 

Also speaking is Phil Friend OBE  and long-time Associate of Business Disability Forum. Phil has over ten years’ experience of delivering career development training for disabled employees. Phil will be talking about the training which has been described as “life changing” by some delegates and interviewing some of his most recent course participants from the Royal Bank of Scotland about what they have learnt about themselves, their disability and where they want to go in in their careers.

Click here to view the pictures from our Scottish conference 2017