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Disability Advisory Committee

Our Disability Advisory Committee members use their disability expertise to inform and advise the Commission’s work to protect and promote rights and equality for disabled people.

They will also support the development of the Commission’s new stakeholder engagement strategy.

The Committee was formed on 1 April 2017 and will continue until the end of March 2019.

Read the Committee’s working terms of reference (Word). These are subject to review when the Committee’s membership is complete.

Minutes of meetings

Disability Advisory Committee members

An appointment round for new Committee members has recently closed, with candidates being interviewed in January 2018.

The current members of the Committee are:

Rachel has a background in clinical psychology and worked in mental health services for 30 years in a range of senior positions. She is now a freelance consultant and a member of the Implementing Recovery through Organisational Change project team.

She is also a long-term user of mental health services and has had a number of national advisory roles. She was Chair of Equality 2025 and a member of Mind's commission of inquiry into acute and crisis care. In 2009, Rachel led an independent review into how government might better support people with mental health problems to gain work and prosper in employment.

She has written and spoken widely about recovery and social inclusion for people with mental health conditions and has pioneered the UK development of programmes to help people with mental health difficulties to access employment and education based on the individual placement with support approach.

She is Chair of the Department of Health Working Group on Equalities in Mental Health. In 2010, Rachel was awarded an OBE for services to mental health and voted Mind Champion of the Year.

Marc is Chief Policy Advisor at the children and young people’s mental health charity YoungMinds, and a visiting professor of Public Health at the University of Northampton.

Previously, Marc has worked in the NHS and charity sector leading research, policy development and programmes in the fields of disability, health and social care reform, childhood adversity and trauma, special educational needs (SEN), and human rights.

Helen is an experienced inclusion consultant, and was previously interim Head of Diversity at Sainsbury’s, and Disability and Carers' Lead at BT Group, with a proven track record of collaboration with disabled people, government and private sector.

Helen chaired the Department for Work and Pensions' (DWP) disability employer engagement steering group, contributed to the Sayce Review and the subsequent DWP Access to Work expert panel and played a key role in the development of the Disability Confident campaign.

Helen is a Trustee for UCanDoIT, a charity which supports people with disabilities to use technology by delivering one to one sessions to people in their own homes. She is a fully qualified human resources practitioner (MCIPD), and a Certified Disability Management Professional (CDMP).

Anna is a professor in Law at the University of Leeds and deputy director of the University's interdisciplinary Centre for Disability Studies. She has published extensively in the field of disability equality and human rights and played a lead role in a range of multinational research projects on this topic.

She has coordinated the accessibility strand of the EU Academic Network of Experts on Disability (ANED) since 2011 and is also currently playing a lead role in a 10-country project on access to justice for disabled children.

Anna plays an active role in disability organisations. She participated in the ad hoc committee which drafted the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and is currently a trustee of CHANGE (a Leeds-based national human rights organisation focusing on the rights of people with learning difficulties and led by disabled people). She has previously been a trustee of RNIB, the Mental Disability Advocacy Centre and various local disabled people's organisations.

Michele is Chief Executive of Breakthrough UK, a disabled people's organisation operating in Greater Manchester and North West England. She is a member of Manchester Leaders Forum and is a founder of the North West Network of Disabled Peoples Organisations.

Michele has over twenty years’ experience of working within disability issues. In 1990 she became involved with the Greater Manchester Coalition of Disabled People and was made the General Manager in 1993. She subsequently worked as a Disability Equality Officer for Manchester City Council and completed a Master’s degree in Management Studies. She became Team Leader of the Corporate Performance, Research and Intelligence Team at Manchester City Council and organised research into quality of life issues. During her time with the Council, Michele was keen to maintain an interest in the voluntary sector, and held the positions of Chair and Deputy Chair at Breakthrough UK from 2003 to 2005.

Michele has been a Community Governor for Bridgewater High School in Warrington since 2006.

Colin Young is the Senior Policy and Outcomes Officer for Self-directed Support at the Health and Social Care Alliance. As part of the Changing Support Changing Lives initiative, Colin's role is to build the connections between the self-directed support strategy and health improvement.

Previously Colin was the Campaigns and Policy Officer for Children and Young People for Mencap in London. He led on Mencap’s responses to government consultations, prepared briefings for debates in both Houses of Parliament and delivered Mencap's key messages through the media.

Until September 2013, Colin was a member of Equality 2025, a UK non-governmental department body advising the Westminster Government on disability issues.

Colin is currently studying a PhD with the Strathclyde Centre for Disability Research at the University of Glasgow into the effect of childhood therapy on the identity of young disabled people.

Former Disability Committee

The Disability Advisory Committee builds on the work of the statutory Disability Committee, which was dissolved on 31 March 2017 by an order made under the Equality Act 2006.

Read the Disability Committee final report to the Board (Word).

Find out more about the Disability Committee on the National Archives website.

Last updated: 09 Feb 2018