#PurpleLightUp Global Ambassadors
On 3rd December 2019, disability networks, resource groups, allies, champions and supporters are coming together to celebrate the economic power of disabled people across the globe through our #PurpleLightUp.
To help us spread the message we are proud to be working with a special group of global ambassadors. Our ambassadors are leaders, shakers and visionaries from around the world, key allies that will help us to engage and excite organisations to light up or go purple in celebrating the economic contribution of people with disabilities.
Meet our #PurpleLightUpAmbassadors:
Julian John, Managing Director, Delsion
Julian John is the Managing Director of Delsion, a people and development consultancy that focuses on supporting organisations around Learning & Development and Inclusion. Julian has set Delsion the social goal of: "Making Wales a leading nation for inclusion in the workplace, specifically around disability".
Following a successful career in HR and Learning & Development at a senior level,Julian developed brain damage. It was this experience that prompted Julian to start Delsion as his own pathway into work and to engage and educate employers around disability inclusion. In 2015 Julian and Delsion made Swansea the first Disability Confident city in the UK and in 2017 led the #PurpleLightUp initiative in South Wales.
Debra Ruh, CEO, Ruh Global Communications and Co-Founder, AXSChat
Debra Ruh is a Global Disability Inclusion Strategist, market influencer, internationally recognized keynote speaker, published author, branding expert, successful entrepreneur and an exceptional mother.
Debra received her call to action when told that her daughter, Sara, who was born with Down Syndrome (Trisomy 21), would never walk or talk. Refusing to accept the prognosis and perception of this condition she was driven by her unshakeable faith in the power of human potential and the love for her daughter and has dedicated her life to creating a path to empowerment and success for all those with disabilities.
By 2010, Debra had built a multi-million dollar firm focused on accessible technologies. Debra is a recognized global influencer and co-founder of the award winning #AXSChat,the second biggest tweet chat in the world with a reach in the billions. Debra was also named in the "Top 5% of Social Media Influencers" and "Top 0.1% of people talking about Disability Inclusion and Accessibility" by KLOUT.
Martyn Sibley, Co-Founder, Disability Horizons
Recently voted Britain's Third Most Influential disabled person, Martyn is a thought leader for inclusion. After graduating with a masters degree in marketing, he worked fora large disability charity in London, before flexing his entrepreneurial muscles. Not only has Martyn co-founded Disability Horizons and Accomable (which was sold to airbnb), he's a published author, global adventurer and keynote speaker.
Susan Scott-Parker OBE, Founder business disability international
Susan Scott-Parker OBE, is a creative thought leader on how to mobilise business leadership worldwide behind the economic and social inclusion of people with disabilities. She is currently facilitating a partnership between Rotary International, the Equitas Bank in India and the Essl Foundation in Vienna, focused on enabling Microfinance to extend its reach to the poorest of the poor-that is, to the hundreds of millions of persons with disabilities living in low income countries.
She is the Founder of Business Disability Forum (UK) and the Technology Taskforce as well as founder of business disability international and its Global Procurement Taskforce. Susan is also a member of the steering group for the Global Actionon Disability network.
In 2003 Susan 'invented' the concept and language of 'Disability Confidence' - in the knowledge that if we can change the way people talk about the world, we make it easier to change the world. She continues to connect leaders from her extensive multi-stakeholder network, enabling new conversations between business, persons with disabilities, civil society and public policy makers.
Sarah Kaiser, Global Head of Diversity & Inclusion at Fidelity International
Sarah Kaiser was appointed as Global Head of Diversity & Inclusion at Fidelity International in June 2019. Prior to that, Sarah was Employee Experience, Diversity & Inclusion Lead, EMEIA at Fujitsu. She drove Fujitsu's activity to become recognised as an exemplar on gender pay gap reporting, a Times Top 50 Employer for Women, a Disability Confident Leader, a Stonewall Top 100 Employer and a Top 50 Social Mobility Employer. She is passionate about finding creative solutions to unusual diversity challenges, developing cultures where everyone can achieve their full potential, and the representation of diversity in contemporary culture.
Previously Sarah was the Head of Equality at Brent Council, where she led the organisation to achieve the Excellence level of the Equality Framework for Local Government. Beforehand, as the first Diversity Manager for Tate, Sarah increased the diversity of Tate's audiences, workforce and programme. Prior to that, Sarah was the Director of RenéCassin, an international human rights NGO.
In her personal capacity, Sarah has worked on a wide range of diversity and inclusion projects, including with Citizens Advice, the Great British Community Project and the Commission on Women in Jewish Leadership. She has a degree in Philosophy from the University of Cambridge.
Paul Deemer, Head of Diversity and Inclusion, NHS Employers
Paul has been a HR professional for over 30 years. He has worked in local government, the voluntary sector and the health service - with particular experience in the fields of recruitment, employee relations, employment law and diversity.
It was whilst working for the charity Barnardo's that he took on the role of national equality and diversity manager, further utilising the experience and knowledge gained in this role when he was seconded into the Department of Health's equality and diversity team in 2000 to help them develop their national strategy in this area.
Paul currently works for NHS Employers - which represents and supports NHS trusts across England - and is helping NHS organisations to embed diversity and inclusion good practice across the NHS.
He says: "As the largest employer of staff in Europe and one of the largest employers in the world (employing almost 1.4 million staff) the NHS is well aware of its duty to promote and raise awareness of issues faced by disabled employees. Encouraging NHS trusts to support #PurpleLightUp will have great significance in improving the experiences of staff with disabilities."
Dr Hamied Haroon, Chair, National Association of Disabled Staff Networks (NADSN)
Dr Hamied Haroon gained his PhD in biomedical magnetic resonance imaging at The University of Manchester in 2005 and has worked there as a Research Associate since then. When Hamied became a member of staff he was shocked when all the support available to him as a disabled student suddenly disappeared! He was elected Chair of the University's Disabled Staff Network when it was established in 2006/2007.
In 2014, Hamied launched the National Association of Disabled Staff Networks (NADSN), an umbrella "super-network" for disabled staff networks in institutions of higher and further education, although open to any interested organisation.
In March 2018, Hamied joined two other esteemed disabled academics to deliver the Annual Disability Lecture at the University of Cambridge.
Dr Caroline Casey, CEO, Binc Global and Founder, The Valuable 500
Caroline Casey is an award-winning social entrepreneur. Committed to building a global movement on inclusive business for the 1.3 billion people in the world with a disability, over the past two decades she has set up several organisations and initiatives centred on disability business inclusion.
In January 2019, Caroline launched The Valuable 500 at Davos, an initiative to get 500 global companies and leaders to put disability inclusion on their business leadership agenda.
Caroline is also a TED speaker, Ashoka Fellow, Eisenhower Fellow, a past advisor for the Clinton Global Initiative, a One Young World Counsellor and is a Young Global Leader of the World Economic Forum.
Julia Moser, Senior Director at myAbility and Founder & President of Forum USH+TB
Julia Moser is Senior Director at myAbility, a leading Austrian management consultancy putting disability on board agendas across Austria, Germany and Switzerland. She is also founder and president of the Forum for Usher Syndrome and Deafblindness and winner of the Wundsam-Hartig Award 2018 for her outstanding contribution to empowering the disabled community.
In her early teens, Julia was diagnosed with Usher Syndrome, a rare disease affecting both hearing and vision. She was advised not to expect to achieve much in life. In fear of missing out, Julia hid the diagnosis for almost two decades. Several years into her legal career, she realised that hiding disabilities prevents both employees and employers from unlocking their true potentials.
Julia joined myAbility to help make the business community a driving force in creating an equal and accessible society. Working with major companies, Julia met motivation as well as insecurities and prejudices. She moved on to establish a unique training tool, successfully breaking down unconscious bias in terms of disability.
Recognising the additional power of the disabled community in driving change, Julia has built a strong network of disability experts, passing on the spark of disability confidence to businesses and employees with disabilities alike.
Samantha Saunders, Head of Innovation & Regulatory Compliance, OmniServ Ltd
Samantha Saunders is Head of Innovation and Regulatory Compliance at airport services provider OmniServ. She joined OmniServ in December 2017 with a remit to drive service enhancements across the company’s PRM (Passengers with Reduced Mobility) operations. She has extensive experience in the aviation industry with 29 years at British Airways working in key operational roles at both London Gatwick and Heathrow, followed by four years with airport services provider OCS Group UK, ending up as Accessibility Manager for their UK operation.
At Gatwick, she championed changes in working practices which saw the airport being the first in the UK to be classified as Autism Friendly and also receiving an Alzheimer’s Society Dementia Innovation Award. She has in-depth experience of airport management and delivering PRM services. Her current focus is in developing and implementing best practice and finding innovative support technology for assisting air travellers with cognitive issues, including autism, developmental disabilities, ADHD, dementia and PTSD.