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Alison Wilde

Alison Wilde

Research Fellow/University of York

What makes a good leader?

A good leader is someone who engages with the people they are working with, who plays to people’s strengths and leads by example, especially when few assumptions seem to be made, and diverse needs are anticipated. Colin Barnes has these qualities. Great leadership is almost forgotten, because power feels shared.

Is leadership different for disabled people?

Individual’s visions of themselves as leaders are inevitably shaped by exclusion and involvement, but this can be manifested in various ways. For many, including myself, it undermines confidence and creates doubts in self worth, but exclusion also contributes to feelings of collective strength and the zeal to keep fighting battles.

Do you think there are barriers to leadership for disabled people that non disabled people don’t face?

There are many barriers to leadership that non-disabled people don’t face. Perhaps the most crucial of these, affecting us all, is disabling attitudes. Barriers to involvement differ for all of us, being compounded for some by other crucial factors, such as class, ethnic and family backgrounds.