Director, Disability Arts Online
I've worked in Disability Arts for a staggering 14 years now. I was baptised with fire and brimstone under the sign of LDAF. I've looked back lots of times - mainly because although I kind of made myself into a leader by virtue of wanting to do a good job I've never actually considered myself a leader - or even what I do as a career. All this time I've been waiting for the bubble to burst and for someone to say, "we're not funding disability arts any more" - and expecting at that point to go back on benefits and continue practicing under my own steam - as I was doing before all this came along.
What makes a good leader?
A good leader is someone able to take an organisation or group forward whilst taking into account the needs and aspirations of all who are following.
Is leadership different for disabled people?
Having an impairment shapes your view of the world It changes the way you reflect on the purpose of being a leader. If your intention is to create equal opportunities and create a path for acceptance of disability, the task feels at best daunting and at worst overwhelming. There is little enough acceptance within the disability community. Outside is a barren wasteland.
Do you think there are barriers to leadership for disabled people that non disabled people don’t face?
I think the barriers are to do with confidence and skills to believe you are or could be a leader.