Disability in Scotland - exploring identity

Disability in Scotland - exploring identity

Generously hosted by Royal Bank of Scotland

Following the success of our first Scottish Conference in December 2017, Business Disability Forum is delighted to announce this year's conference theme will be Disability in Scotland - exploring identity and will be held on 11 December 2018. 

Hosted once again by the Royal Bank of Scotland at their impressive Gogarburn Headquarters in Edinburgh, this Conference will be looking at all aspects of identity and disability with the following topics and more:

The people behind the job title

We will be bringing our podcast series on the people behind the job title live to the stage. Disabled people from all walks of life from a computer scientist at Edinburgh University to senior managers at Network Rail and Royal Bank of Scotland will be talking to us about their own experiences of disability and identity.

This will be followed by a session on monitoring and disability in which Senior Business Disability Consultant, Adrian Ward and Learning and Development Manager, Ruth Fisher will explore:

  • why organisations survey their staff to ask about disability
  • how to ask the question and what to say in follow up communications with disabled colleagues
  • what to do with the information collected including data protection regulations
  • why people don’t identify as disabled and what this might say about your organisational culture.

We are also delighted to welcome a Scottish Government minister who will be speaking about what the Scottish Government is currently doing to support more disabled people into employment and stay in work after they have acquired a disability.

Fresh from the Edinburgh Fringe Festival

Steve Day will bring his highly successful Edinburgh Fringe show to our stage.  

“Steve's dad has Alzheimer’s. There's nothing he can do about it except remember the way he was. Steve has also been deaf since his teens but has new hearing aids so now he's gone through all the music of his youth. It reminds him of his dad. There's nothing else for it but to defy dementia, with music, songs and laughter. Laugh, cry, sing along if you want. If you like bittersweet comedy about deafness and memory loss then this is the show for you."

Previous shows were rated ***** (Chortle.co.uk) and **** (Scotsman).” 

Identity and citizenship

We will look further into the theme of identity to consider the role of disabled people in society more broadly. Our panel: Sally Witcher from Inclusion Scotland, Jeremy Balfour MSP and Marsali Craig will consider the role of disabled people in public life whether as an elected MP or on a public board. They will answer questions such as

  • why they chose to stand for election or apply for a public appointment
  • how to make a difference and change the world
  • the benefits and challenges of being in the public eye and why more disabled people should seek to do the same.

Finally, to close the day we are pleased to announce that Dr Caroline Casey, Founder of Binc. will speak about her own remarkable life and work with Business Disability Forum CEO, Diane Lightfoot. In 2017 Caroline launched #valuable  – a worldwide ‘call to action’ for business to recognise the value and potential of the 1 billion people living with a disability and position disability equally on the global business agenda. 

Meet our speakers and panellists

Diane Lightfoot Bela Gor

Diane Lightfoot, CEO, Business Disability Forum

Bela Gor, Head of Campaigns & Legal, Business Disability Forum

Dr Caroline Casey, CEO, Binc


Aurora Constantin

Aurora Constantin, Research Associate at University of Edinburgh

John Brady, Programme Director, Business Change and Transformation, RBS

Caroline Eglinton, Access & Inclusion with Business Change at Network Rail 

Ruth Fisher Adrian Ward

Ruth Fisher, Learning & Development Manager, Business Disability Forum

Adrian Ward, Senior Disability Consultant, Business Disability Forum

Dr Sally Witcher OBE, Chief Executive Officer of Inclusion Scotland  

Jeremy Balfour SMP  

Jeremy Balfour MSP, Scottish Conservatives  

Marsali Craig, Member, Mobility & Access Committee for Scotland & member of the Scotland Committee of the Equality and Human Rights Commission

Duncan Young, Director of Business Communications & Brand Development, Royal Bank of Scotland  


Places at this event are offered complimentary to all delegates and early booking is recommended.

Please complete the registration form below to register your place at our next Scottish Conference.

Event details



10:00am - 5:00pm


Royal Bank of Scotland Conference Centre, Gogarburn
EH12 9SB

Prices and booking

Members and Partners:

Complimentary (no cost)


Complimentary (no cost)

Not sure if your organisation is a Member? A full Member list can be found on this page.

Please complete the event registration form at the bottom of this page.

Event registration


Delegate 1

*denotes a required field. Remove this delegate
Register another delegate

We will contact you to confirm your booking and arrange payment (if required). If you do not hear from us within 48 hours of making your booking, please contact us.