News and Events

Do you have what it takes to be a panel member on Channel 5 News?

Channel 5 News are looking to increase the representation of disabled people who have professional expertise on their television panels. If you’re interested and have a particular expertise, please send the following information to Chris Olaniyan (

Travel expenses will be covered, but all other support costs need to be negotiated directly with Channel 5 News.

Naidex 45 Highlights

Work Helpline UK team at NaidexWe’ve been phenomenally busy due to our attendance at @NaidexShow which took place at the NEC Birmingham on 26th and 27th March 2019.

The START Ability Services team were delighted to be working alongside Debbie from Social Barriers Solutions, who as a previous client had benefitted from our support at Work Helpline UK to set up her business. It was wonderful to personally meet Debbie for the first time, as we have had so many hours of telephone conversations and email conversations putting the world to rights!

So, it was a sincere pleasure to be able to work alongside a dear friend and colleague for the first time to provide information and support to our stand visitors.

We also met Simon (Debbie’s husband), who was the most efficient handout distributor known to man, with the patience of a saint, and Sasha (Debbie’s beautifully behaved Guide Dog), who made a point of making sure we were all beautifully licked clean every morning and settled quietly on her bed, in spite of the hustle and bustle going on around her.

Work Helpline UK standAnother colleague who came to our stand to say hello was the fabulous Jane Hatton from Evenbreak, who I met personally for the first time on Tuesday morning, despite having known and collaborated with Jane for over 8 years.

I also had the pleasure of catching up with many of our wonderful colleagues from the Disabled Entrepreneurs Network, including Mark Esho, Brad Francis from Brad Francis Media , Roland Chesters from Luminate and Alison Schofield from Disability Road Map.

And on top of this, there were the many clients and colleagues who popped by to say hello as they have previously had our support from our links with Ehlers Danlos Support UK and people who we met for the first time last year, such as the innovator, Gavin Neate from Neatebox. It really was great to meet so many of you and we were so glad to hear of your personal and professional development. We also look forward to working with you in the future, so please don’t hesitate to get in touch if you have a query.

Kath delivering her seminar on coproduction

As well as the opportunity to meet so many people, there were a number of seminars to enjoy, which were wide ranging and generated a lot of interest at the Naidex Show.

My own seminar was very well received, as it highlighted the use of coproduction to provide solution focussed support to keep disabled people and people with long term health conditions in work. Indeed, as we were able to highlight our work with an individual (who had sustained a traumatic brain injury), his wife, his employer, his neuropsychology team and various support services, so that he could return to work.

However, I do have to say there were some hairy moments when Warwick Davis attracted such a large audience that our stand nearly collapsed! Fortunately, I had already left to prepare for the Employability Panel, otherwise they would not have had a Chair as I would have been stuck.

Kath getting to know some of the Panellists before the Employability PanelThe Panel made for a fabulous debate, as the panellists challenged the many stereotypical ideas held about employing disabled people.

Indeed, they covered issues relating to the main barriers disabled people face when looking for work, the key issues raised by employers as barriers and the ways in which research evidence shows disabled employees are just as productive as their non-disabled colleagues, they have less time off sick, have fewer accidents and they stay in their jobs longer.

Jane Hatton from Evenbreak, Anna Birdfrom Scope, Samuel Ridyard from Genius Within CIC and Shani Dhanda also highlighted the many advantages, opportunities and business benefits of increasing the presence of disabled employees in the workplace. My thanks go to them all for making my job as Chair so easy.

But as well as the information and debates available to people, the Naidex Show is known for the phenomenal range of products available! We were particularly impressed with:

* the potential of the wheelchairs available from Beyond the Boundary Wheelchairs to support our clients in their workplace;
* the shoe and sock range available at Cosyfeet, that provides comfortable alternatives for disabled people who have swollen legs or feet, or who may need to accommodate bracing or bandages into their footware;
* the vast range of lifts available at Lewis Reed Group to wheelchair users who need to travel in a wheelchair accessible vehicle; and
* REACT technologies who enable visually impaired people to live more independent lives by developing systems to support independent journeys.

Kath with her flowers and Zella the Zebra

It was also really good to know that we were represented alongside other services that would be useful to our colleagues and clients.

A small sample of this representation included stands for:
* Brian Barr Solicitors who provide personal legal services to people with chronic pain;
* Remap UK, who are a national charity that works through local groups of skilled volunteers to make equipment for disabled people that is designed specifically for their individual needs; and
* Burning Nights CRPS Support, which is a UK charity working to improve life for all those affected by Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS). Indeed, the charity is called “Burning Nights” due to the intense burning pain that is experienced by people with CRPS.

Finally, a big shout out to Alison Schofield for the beautiful flowers and Zella the Zebra, which highlights awareness of Ehlers Danlos Syndrome, and the representatives of Aurigny Healthcare who helped me to find appropriate padding for my reclining wheelchair that finally helps me to feel comfortable! I can’t thank you enough for listening and assisting me to find a more permanent solution to my persistently sore elbows, forearms and calves.

As they say in cartoons, “That’s all folks”! Hope to see you next year at Naidex 46.

ADP News December 2018

As another year draws to a close, we thought we would give you some information about upcoming events and some of our plans for the Work Advice Service in 2019.

But firstly, perhaps a brief recap of 2018:

* The ADP was delighted to be awarded the Best Disability Business Support Provider in the Social Care Awards 2018.

* We were partners in Naidex 44, which took part in April 2018 at the NEC in Birmingham. As well as being able to promote our services, our very own Kath Sutherland also gave a seminar called “Breaking down the barriers: Disabled People and Work” where she was able to highlight appropriate and effective ways of supporting disabled people and people with long term health conditions into work. Kath was also asked to be a member of the Employability Panel, where a packed audience of people were able to ask questions and seek support with regards to issues that they had faced in employment.

* We’ve taken part in several conferences and forums to support health and social care professionals from many backgrounds to improve their services to people with learning difficulties, mental health difficulties, muscular-skeletal conditions and others who develop impairments. The aim of our presentations was to highlight the assistance that health and social care professionals can ensure that options for work, training or education are considered when assessments take place. These events have led to numerous local initiatives and increased knowledge of the barriers that people with impairments face when trying to get a job, stay in their current job and if they want to set up or keep an existing business.

* We launched Work Helpline UK as a way of incorporating all our Work Advice Service information into one place. We have received very positive feedback about the service that we offer and the new look website, although we are always looking to improve!

Work Helpline UK logo

And on that note, have you looked at our Work Helpline UK website at It’s packed full of information for disabled people and people with long term health conditions, as well as for their employers and other organisations who want to increase diversity in the workforce. It’s also got a lot of information available for disabled entrepreneurs and would be entrepreneurs.

We have also tried to include some useful ways that we have identified to assist with issues such as, disclosing an impairment; applying for Access to Work as an employee or entrepreneur, as well as a factsheet for employers; using Permitted Work to support initial return to work when needed; guidance on reasonable adjustments; and many other issues. But we would like to do much more!

We would love to hear your views on the website and whether you feel there is additional information that may be useful to our colleagues and clients. Please send any comments to with the subject “Website comments”.

Naidex 45 - 26th & 27th March at Birmingham’s NEC.  Register for your free tickets here

We’re thrilled to announce that we’ll be partnering with Naidex, Europe’s largest event for the disability and independent living sector, again in 2019.

Celebrating its 45th anniversary, the show will take place on the 26th & 27th March at Birmingham’s NEC, and we’d love for you to join us at the show by grabbing your FREE ticket here!

Get ready to see the latest in assistive technology, mobility products, accessible traveling, living aids and more!

There will be over 250 seminars covering a wide variety of topics such as employability, mental health, fashion and rehabilitation amongst others.

You’ll also get the opportunity to hear from our very own Kath Sutherland about how our methods of coproduction can resolve the difficulties that disabled people and people with long term health conditions face.

Take part in the event’s interactive features by trying out new activities in the Live Sports Arena, and find the best fit for your needs on the Mobility Test Track.

So don’t miss out, register for your free ticket now and witness the future of independent living!

We can’t wait to see you there!

Can you help?

We’re looking for your stories and would love to hear from you if you have benefited from the service we provide. We’re hoping that we can then highlight that disabled people and people with long term health conditions are not only able to successfully work in their chosen career, but that it is possible to thrive in the world of work, if they are given the information that they need, and appropriate adjustments are made.

In this way, we can collectively assist other disabled people and people with long term health conditions to feel that they can move forward in the world of work. It will also showcase the fact that often work-related issues for anyone with an impairment can be resolved with appropriate and effective support that looks at and removes the barriers that people face in the changing world of work.

If you feel you could help with this, we would appreciate it if you could provide us with a short statement of what support you needed and how we have been able to assist you. Whether you would like to write a few lines or 2 pages of A4 (maximum), please also provide your job description and impairment. For example, newly qualified teacher with a visual impairment seeking first job; self-employed florist with increasing mobility difficulties and unstable diabetes; young person with dyslexia seeking a plumbing apprenticeship; care assistant with chronic pain syndrome in right hand; etc.

We look forward to receiving your emails! However, if you would like to contribute but find writing difficult, please don’t hesitate to call us or send us an email and we will be happy to arrange to assist you.

Peace and Prosperity - wishing you a happy holiday season

And finally, our offices will be closed from 6:30pm on Wednesday 19th December 2018 until 9:00am on Thursday 3rd January 2019. We would therefore like to take this opportunity to wish you the very best for the festive season from everyone at the Association of Disabled Professionals and our hosts, START Ability Services.

Do you have what it takes to be the next Apprentice!

Image of Lord Sugar from The Apprentice If you think you’ve got what it takes to impress Britain’s toughest backer, go to the BBC Website for details on how to apply. Auditions will be happening across the country throughout the month of February 2019.

Go on, show us what you’ve got!

Never thought The Apprentice was for you?

Think again, anyone can have a seed of an idea and become an entrepreneur, you just need the backing.

If you apply to The Apprentice 15, that seed could become a fully-fledged and funded business!

The winning candidate will receive an investment of up to £250,000 and will go into a 50:50 partnership with Lord Sugar. Lord Sugar has already invested over £2,000,000 in business start-ups through The Apprentice.

Boundless is the production company that produces “The Apprentice” for broadcast by the BBC.

They welcome applications from people with long term health conditions and impairments. They will ensure any reasonable adjustments are considered in the application process and filming of the programme.

The ADP wins another Social Care Award!

Social Care Awards 2018 Best Disability Business Support Provider - UK The Association of Disabled Professionals has been successful in gaining a Social Care Award; this year being awarded the Best Disability Business Support Provider 2018.

Jane Hunt, Chair of the ADP, said: “We are absolutely delighted to receive yet another award for our work from the prestigious Global Health and Pharma Social Care Awards. ADP was really pleased to win this award for its innovative work advice service in 2017 when we were awarded the Best Disadvantaged Career Development Specialists. To have now won the Social Care Awards for a second year running, and receive the title of Best Disability Business Support Provider, is a phenomenal tribute to our small team of volunteers and their dedication and hard work.”

Nathan Angell, Awards Co-ordinator, commented, “GHP Magazine showcases the achievements of the outstanding services and innovation within the field of social care to celebrate the industry’s best and bravest… As with all our awards, the 2018 Social Care Awards are purely based upon merit. To ensure this, our in-house research team went in-depth, leaving no stone unturned, to find those most deserving acknowledgement for their outstanding performances. Winners of this award can rest assured that their win was one that was truly based on accomplishments and performance.”

Naidex 2018 is nearly here!

After last year's very successful partnership, the ADP is pleased to again be partnering with Naidex for their 2018 event.

Naidex is Europe's most exciting event dedicated to the disability, independent living and healthcare professional sectors. Taking place at the NEC Birmingham on the 25th and 26th April, this esteemed event provides cutting-edge exhibitors, world-class CPD accredited seminars, live demos, 1-2-1 advice and unparalleled networking opportunities, over two unforgettable days. And it’s absolutely free to attend!

As well as exhibiting at the event, Kath Sutherland is also holding a seminar on the barriers that disabled people face in the workforce. So do register for your FREE ticket here and come along to say hello!

SCIE's National Co-production Week: 3rd to 7th July 2017

Social Care Institute for Excellence logoCo-production Week will celebrate the benefits of co-production, share good practice and highlight the contribution of people who use services and carers to developing better public services.

For Co-production Week 2017, the Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE) wants organisations and individuals to make a Co-production Commitment.

They also want organisations and individuals to:
1. hold events about co-production
2. tell SCIE about your event and they can promote it
3. tell SCIE about examples of good practice in co-production
4. tweet about co-production using the hashtag #coproweek.

SCIE's Co-production Week activities will include their second annual Co-production Festival on 5 July, co-production training, a webinar, a Twitter event and much more.

For further information about National Co-production Week and support with co-production in your organisation please email

Naidex 2017: an enormous success!

Naidex 2017 logoThe Association of Disabled Professionals were delighted to partner with Naidex 2017, which was held at the Birmingham NEC on the 28th - 30th March for the 43rd instalment of the most influential event in the disability and care sector.

The exhibition was very well attended and visitors were able to learn more about the amazing advances in assistive technology and equipment available to disabled people. In fact, a few of our team members purchased equipment on the day, as they were able to find something that was useful.

Jane Hunt and Kath Sutherland at NaidexThe event also featured a phenomenal line up of 185 speakers on numerous areas of interest in the health and social care sector. Indeed, our very own Kath Sutherland held a seminar on each day of the event, talking about removing the barriers to employment and self-employment for disabled people and people with long term health conditions. The seminars were very well received and, as well as spreading the word about ADP's work, we hope that sharing the information about the service will lead to future partnerships.

Finally, thank you to all of you who came to say that you had received our support in the past and it had helped you to move forward in your chosen work area. We had numerous people approach us on our stand and it was lovely to meet face to face with our clients and colleagues, old and new. It was particularly interesting to hear from those of you who had sought support from ADP in the 70s and 80s, as although times have changed, there are still far too many barriers in the way of disabled people who wish to work. Hearing all your stories about how the ADP gave you the assistance that you needed, strengthened our commitment to ensure that the work advice service, provided by experienced and knowledgeable disabled people, will continue.

Look forward to seeing you all at Naidex 2018!

Call for disabled employees, workplace personal assistants and employers to become involved in new project

ADP is working with the University of York on an important piece of research to provide vital information about the role of Workplace Personal Assistants for physically disabled people. And we need your help!

The research team are looking to speak with people with physical or sensory impairments, their workplace PAs and if possible their employers. The aim of the project is to find out more about what sort of tasks workplace PAs carry out; the people who undertake this role; and the relationships between workplace personal assistants, the people who employ them, and other people in the disabled person's workplace. The information from the study will be used to produce a 'support resource' for workplace personal assistants, the people with physical or sensory impairments who employ them, and employers of disabled people.

If you are interested, please download the overview and the Information Sheet. If after reading the information you have any other queries, please contact Jane Maddison by telephone on 01904 321 989 or by email at

Disabled Entrepreneurs' Network featured on Radio 4 Money Box Live

Kath Sutherland talking about the barriers disabled entrepreneurs face

Kath Sutherland was asked to contribute to a discussion on BBC Radio 4 about self-employment and disabled people. Kath was able to provide advice and information about ways of becoming an entrepreneur and how to find ways of removing the barriers that disabled people may face setting up and maintaining a business.

She was also able to highlight the role of self-employment in reducing the barriers that many people face when trying to get into or remain in work. If after listening to the clip you feel that you would benefit from our support, please don't hesitate to get in touch by email at:

ADP wins Best Disadvantaged Career Development Specialists - UK

Social Care Awards 2017 Best Disadvantaged Career Development Specialists - UK We are delighted to announce that we have received an award for the Best Disadvantaged Career Development Specialists in the UK from the Social Care Awards. GHP state that the 2017 Social Care Awards have been designed to give recognition to the individuals, teams and companies responsible for showing the highest level of care, compassion and courage in one of the most important, yet challenging, industries.

Speaking about the awards, the Social Care Awards Coordinator, Eleanor Homes, commented: "In social care the need for excellence in care is ever more pressing, and as such it has been a real honour to be able to showcase the hard work and dedication of every one of our award winners. I would like to wish them the best of luck going forward and hope they stay in touch."

Jane Hunt, Chair of the ADP, said: "ADP was delighted to win this award for its innovative work advice service. This would not have happened without the dedication of our volunteers who work hard to support disabled people, people with long term conditions and employers with any employment or self-employment issue."

Call for disabled entrepreneurs, who have assistive technology needs to access digital information?

Innovate UK are offering the opportunity for disabled small business owners to be paid for their views on information available from Innovate UK.

They are looking to speak with people who run small businesses in the UK and who have assisted digital needs, in that they are willing but unable to use the internet/technology without assistance/assistive technology, were previously online, but not anymore, or never have been online, and never will be.

If you are interested, please send your name, details of your business, your location, impairment and preferred contact details to or alternatively Andrew can be contacted on 07825 762537.

Top Ten Tips on Disclosing Your Impairment or Long Term Health Condition

A recent survey by 5 live Breakfast suggests that most disabled students are reluctant to disclose their impairment or long term health condition to potential employers. This is also reflected by the many questions we get from enquirers about this issue.

We have therefore written a top ten tips on disclosing an impairment to help to answer some of these queries. If you would like a copy of the free factsheet, please go to the Work Advice Service page on START Ability's website. The download is available at the bottom of the page.

If after reading the factsheet, you feel you would benefit from our support, please do not hesitate to get in touch!

MicroBizMatters Day Showcase of Entrepreneurs

Throughout the world nine out of every ten people running their own enterprises have between 0 and 9 employees. We call these micro enterprises and in January 2012 after a year of testing the free, indie and no contact details required, Enterprise Rockers self help community was founded to make business life better for micro enterprise owners everywhere.

On Enterprise Rockers 3rd birthday and the birthday of co-founder Tina Boden and Led Zeppelin lead guitarist, Jimmy Page, the first annual MicroBizMattersDay took place. On January 9th 2015, self employed and business owners gave 9 minutes to help other small business owners (Full details on the day can be found at

In celebration of the many small businesses we have had the pleasure of working with, in the Disabled Entrepreneurs Network, we thought we would showcase some of the fantastic work that is being carried out by so many small businesses around the UK.

Evenbreak logo

Evenbreak is the only not-for-profit specialist online job board in the UK run by disabled people for disabled people. We help inclusive employers attract more talented disabled candidates, we help disabled job seekers find work with employers who will value their skills and we promote the benefits of employing disabled people.

Employers such as BBC, E.ON, EY (Ernst & Young), ITV, John Lewis, Network Rail, Wellcome Trust and many, many more advertise their roles on Evenbreak in order to access our thousands of talented disabled candidates.

A role model employer, we only employ disabled people, we are a Living Wage employer and we are a certified Social Enterprise. If you are an inclusive employer wishing to tap into this amazing pool of talent, or you are a disabled person looking for work, please visit

FreeVirtualServers logo

Easy Internet Solutions Ltd, trading as FreeVirtualServers, is an independently owned web hosting company that has provided web hosting services and online tools to businesses since 2004, to help them get the very best out of the web. Although we are a small company in size, we are currently one of the largest and fastest growing providers of affordable and free web hosting services - we currently service over 75,000 websites.

Because we're a small company ourselves, we understand how important it is to have a fully functioning website. If our customers have problems with their websites that can result in a loss of sales for them which is detrimental to their business - we want our customers to succeed that's why we offer 24/7 expert support. No matter what package our customers are on, our online support desk is always open.

We're also committed to providing value to our customers and making it as easy as possible for them to grow and be successful, that's why we offer free unlimited website hosting packages alongside our premium paid for packages. As a small independent company ourselves, we know that the Internet is a wonderful place for small businesses to get started, and that's why we launched the free hosting package - to help people and businesses increase their online footprint and have the opportunity to get started on the Internet. But it's not just small businesses we want to help, charity is also very close to our heart and that's why we offer all local charities free unlimited website hosting.

FreeVirtualServers is an equal opportunities and disability confident employer. For more information about FreeVirtualServices and the services we offer, please visit our website at

Disability Dynamics logo

15 years improving work opportunities for people with long-term health conditions, improving disability awareness and promoting inclusion have resulted in Disability Dynamics being featured on the website (Accessible Britain).

Highlights and comments on current disability issues are regularly covered in the Blog and free download of guides and information are all available at

Specialists in supporting disabled people to become self-employed, you can see the success stories of clients who have been assisted to start their own businesses at Several clients have been featured by the BBC in the "Saints and Scroungers" programmes - ours are the ones with halos!

Project management, partnership building and increasing disability awareness amongst other employment support providers are key features of our work. Much of this has been focussed in parts of Derbyshire with some of the highest levels of disabled people in the country as we try to work where there is most need - see

Business founder Penny Melville-Brown has also worked at Board level across several Government Departments - encouraging public policy and service delivery to better meet the needs of one-fifth of the population. Contact her on 01329 841814 or (also on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn).

Audio Imaging Services logo

Audio Imaging Services provides a range of fixed packages and custom options for those who require anything from basic dry voice liners to full audio branding, audio soundscapes, audio description, voice and beds for automated phone systems and more.

We can provide audio for anyone. DJ's, podcasters, broadcasters, radio stations of every size pro or voluntary, businesses and individuals of every description, audio book and play writers and everyone in-between.

If you want to announce to the world who you are or if you just want an audio introduction on your website, we can do it.

Would you like something voiced in another language besides English? We offer a range of languages from French to Scottish Gaelic and if you are a bit lost for words, we have a script writing service too.

Our fixed packages start at £5.00. For our custom options, please contact us for a quote. Please try to provide us with as many details as possible.

Visit our website for further information or email You can also follow us on twitter @AIS_UK

We look forward to working with you and bringing your audio visions to life.

123 Ranking logo

Easy Internet Services Ltd, trading as 123Ranking, was established in 2000 to provide SEO and digital marketing services to start ups and SMEs. Our primary services include, search engine optimisation, social media marketing, content marketing, digital marketing and everything in between to make businesses succeed and be profitable online.

As a small business we're committed to our customers and take the time to get to know them and their business offering. Our customers are our partners and therefore we take a vested interest in their online success. We work with our customers every step of the way, from the initial web design process, through to the content creation, SEO and social media marketing to make sure our customers receive the services they require.

We take pride in our work and are committed to making small businesses succeed online. As a long established SEO company we are so confident that we can help small businesses succeed on the Internet the way we have, we offer a no placement, no fee policy. Success for our customers is success for us.

123Ranking is an equal opportunities and disability confident employer. For more information about 123Ranking and the services we offer, please visit our website at

START Ability Services logo

START Ability Services is an established business that has been providing equality and therapeutic support services to individuals and organisations for many years. Our firm was established to provide efficient, expert solutions to businesses and individuals. Our primary services include consultancy, bespoke training solutions, the production of accessible information and, through our Therapy Services, the provision of counselling and psychological therapy and supervision. We are also the proud hosts of the Work Advice Service for the Association of Disabled Professionals (ADP) and the Disabled Entrepreneurs' Network (DEN).

We pride ourselves on providing our customers with high-quality services based on their needs. Indeed, because of our exceptional work, we were the UK's Ambassador for European SME Week 2010 and we have been awarded a number of accolades for our work.

Our consultants serve a wide range of individuals, corporations, partnerships, and non-profit organisations and are experts in disability equality issues and psychological interventions. We also offer the benefits of years of experience gained in these specialised fields. Whether you are from a large organisation or you are an individual, we can guarantee that we will provide you with excellent customer care.

START Ability Services is an equal opportunities and disability confident employer. For more information about us and the services we offer, please visit our website at

Pilot programme for under-represented groups in public appointments in Wales - Deadline for expressions of interest extended to Thursday 15 January 2015

Public appointments play an important role in the delivery of public services in Wales. Their functions range from health and social care to the arts, culture and the national parks. They are part of the wider delivery landscape of Welsh public services which includes local and Welsh Government. Public bodies deliver the priorities of Ministers, through funding, promotion, delivery and scrutiny of services or by providing impartial, expert advice to Ministers, the public and those who deliver public services.

The Welsh Government believes that public bodies should have board members who reflect Welsh society - people from all walks of life - to help them understand people's needs and make better decisions. Boards should, as far as possible, be representative of the communities they serve.

However, for many boards in Wales, this is not the case with many groups including women, BME and disabled people significantly under-represented. Although progress has been made in recent years in terms of achieving a more appropriate gender balance at Board level, there is still a need to encourage people from a more diverse range of backgrounds and life experiences to apply for and be successful in securing a public appointment.

The Welsh Government's Programme for Government and strategic equality objectives contain key actions to further the commitment to ensuring that there is an increase the number of under-represented groups in public appointments in Wales. The Government is committed to increasing diversity and encouraging all under-represented groups to consider serving on a public sector board.

The Welsh Government and the NHS Centre for Equality and Human Rights have established a pilot programme of training, development and support to help increase diversity in public appointments.

The initial pilot will be available for up to 18 people from under-represented groups across Wales. Each participant will be assigned a mentor who will be a current, experienced NHS Board member who is committed to improving diversity. They will also be supported with a personal development plan and have access to training and development opportunities.

If you would like to know more, please download the Application form in English or the Application form in Welsh.

Jane Hunt awarded OBE in New Year's Honours List 2014

We are delighted to inform you that Jane Hunt, the Chair of the ADP , has received an OBE in recognition of her work supporting disabled people to access HMRC Services.

Jane has been involved in the consultation group to support disabled customers, since she was approached at a DWP conference in 2008, where she was highlighting the work undertaken by ADP and the Disabled Entrepreneurs Network.

Jane commented:

'The honour is a complete surprise and I share this award with all those who have supported disadvantaged people who do not have a voice and need guidance in often difficult circumstances. I would particularly like to express my thanks to all ADP members, whose views and experiences have been much valued and informed this vital work.'

The ADP raises awareness on an international level

Jane Hunt and Kath Sutherland have been very busy this month, highlighting the issues faced by disabled people in a number of presentations and panel debates.

Kath Sutherland presenting

On 8th November, Kath presented "What are you talking about puddings for?  The benefits of plain language in advice" at the International Enterprise Promotion Convention.  The presentation was extremely well received and served as a timely reminder to business advisors and policy makers to ensure that the information that they were producing for entrepreneurs was accessible and in plain language.  Further information about the event can be found on the Convention Website and you can also  view the summary  or download the presentation


Jane Hunt with Japanese party

Jane presented to a delegation from  the Youth Division of the Social Promotion department at the Fukuoka prefectural government in Japan. The delegation was lead by the governor of the prefecture, Mr Aso. The rest of the delegation were young people, aged 18 to 35, who live in the prefecture and who wanted to get involved in volunteer activities or study projects in social welfare, education and the environment.  As part of their educational trip to Europe, the Fukuoka prefecture delegation wanted to visit charities and hear about their activities and their funding procedures and case studies on how they help people.

Jane met with the delegation on 16th November and was able to tell them about the work of the ADP and the Disabled Entrepreneurs' Network.  The delegates were very happy with the information they received and showed a keen interest in our work.

Kath Sutherland at a live webcastFinally, Kath was asked to be a speaker at the SMEs, Research and Innovation Conference, "From Idea to Market:  Turning Knowledge into Profit".  The conference was an initiative of Wallonia and Directorate General Research of the European Commission in cooperation with the Belgian EU Presidency. 

Kath attended in her role as an Equalities Consultant and the Founder of her own small business, START Ability Services.  Her work came to the attention of the Directorate through her recent accolade as UK Ambassador for European SME Week 2010.

The objective of the Conference was to address the needs of Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) around the twin themes of Research and Innovation as a background.

Each of the 4 sessions gave plenty of opportunities to help European Small and Medium-sized Enterprises to describe as well as share their own experiences with the audience. 

The final session was a live webcast and a number of conclusions were drawn which it is hoped will support small and medium enterprises to access appropriate support and finance throughout every stage of business development from start up to growth.

Further information about this prestigious event, which was attended by HRH Prince Philippe of Belgium is available at the SME Conference website

The ADP wins prestigious Human Rights Award

Jane Hunt, Kath Sutherland and Kirsty Sutherland-Cash accept the Award from Yvette Cooper. We are delighted to announce that the Association of Disabled Professionals were the winners of RADAR's People of the Year Human Rights Awards for "Doing Careers Differently".

The Doing Careers Differently Award 2009 recognises the ADP's commitment to supporting disabled people to achieve their full potential with regards to employment and self employment.

The glittering Awards Ceremony was held on 30th November 2009 at Battersea Evolution and was attended by Jane Hunt, the Chair of the organisation, Kath Sutherland, Development Officer and Kirsty Sutherland-Cash, the Personal Assistant to the Development Officer.

Jane Hunt who collected the Award from Rt Hon Yvette Cooper MP, Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, said:

"This is a tribute to the ADP Executive, staff and members who have served us so well. We also acknowledge the contributions made by Sir Peter Large and Sue Maynard-Campbell, who must be remembered as they were deeply involved."

Kath Sutherland, Development Officer, commented: "The Award is recognition of the many years of hard work and support provided by the ADP to ensure that disabled people are acknowledged for the many skills that they have. We hope that we are able to secure funding to continue our work in the future, as we receive thousands of enquiries every year but have very limited funding. The Award reflects our dedication to provide a practical, common sense approach to enable the very many disabled people who contact us to gain and retain employment commensurate to their abilities or to choose self employment as a viable option if they wish to do so."

Liz Sayce, Chief Executive of RADAR, said: "The Association of Disabled Professionals has for many years been at the forefront of efforts to ensure that disabled people progress and develop careers, rather than being marginalised by a laser-like focus on work, any work, at all costs. Such an approach wastes talent and is ultimately counterproductive; challenging it is crucial to 'Future Proofing Equality', and the Association of Disabled Professionals are truly deserving winners of this Award."

Launch of "Setting Up In Business? A Resource Guide for Disabled People and their Advisors"

The Association of Disabled Professionals has written and produced a plain English Resource Guide, Directory of Support and Quick Reference Guide to support disabled people who want to set up in business. It is intended that the guide will also be used by business advisers within mainstream organisations.

As well as ensuring that key issues are covered, such as tax, funding, mentoring and different types of business opportunity, we have also included stories from disabled entrepreneurs and their experiences of starting up in business.


The Guide was launched by Margaret Hodge MP, Minister for Enterprise, Industry and the Regions, on 20th March 2007 at the British Library in London.

Margaret Hodge and Jane Hunt at the Launch event
The Directory of Support, which accompanies the Guide, was updated in January 2009 and there are plans to include a plain English business plan template in the near future.

The Resource Guide Pack is available in a number of formats including large print, braille, easy read and electronic format.


If you would like further information, or you are a disabled person who would like a copy of the Guide Pack, please email for details.