To create and sustain an opportunity that empowers disabled people to develop and deliver creative strategies for engagement with their community.
The ambition for Disability Pride is to create an environment that empowers disabled people to come together as a community and celebrate disability. This will provide a powerful change driver for disabled people and will seek to promote the ideals of an inclusive, powerful, positive, and engaging community. It will present a vibrant alternative narrative, shifting it to one of inclusion, positivity, and empowerment.
The idea of Disability Pride originated in the USA and has recently trickled in the UK mainly through international companies promoting the initiative at a regional level. When our co-founders Celia, Matt, and Solène became an aware of the need to provide a structure for Disability Pride in the UK that wasn’t dominated by corporate CSR/EDI programmes or aligned to specific disabilities or organisations. This is aligned to an ambition to amplify the positivity and achievements of disabled people in a way that celebrates diversity and difference – giving our community the recognition it deserves.
Disability Pride UK is a non-profit organisation that has the legal structure of a limited-by-guarantee company. Currently the directors are Celia, Solène and Matt. Upon completion of our first-year event, the plan is to create a vibrant board and team of volunteers that are representative of the community we serve going forward.
Solène Anglaret is an award-winning speaker, facilitator, and writer. The purpose behind everything she does is to break down borders and bring the world closer together one conversation, one story, one connection at a time.
Over the past 12 years, she has worked across six different countries and for a wide range of industries and businesses – from Veolia, to Thomas Cook, Expedia Group, Harri, and Innovate UK.
Solène is a multipotentialite and her main areas of expertise are Diversity & Inclusion; Disability, Neurodiversity & Mental Health; Innovation; and Cross-Cultural Collaboration.
In 2023, she was named one of the Top 50 most influential neurodivergent women in the UK. This is a testament to all the work she does to inspire and help people around her to live a life worth living – whatever that might mean for them.
Celia Hensman is a disabled founder and investor, having founded multiple disabled led organisation including the first think tank in the UK dedicated to the development and advancement of policy, ensuring that accessibility is at the heart of legislation and Access2Funding the campaign committed to improve the outcomes and opportunities for disabled entrepreneurs.
Celia is a disabled women with multiple disabilities including Loeys-Dietz Syndrome, Marfans, POTS and most significantly she lives with a permanent central line in her chest receiving daily blood infusions and complete artificial nutrition. She is an advocate for disabled representation, inclusion, and accessibility, and has worked with prominent organisations such as LinkedIn, The House of Lords, The United Nations and Councils across The United Kingdom. In addition to this, Celia is also an experienced social entrepreneur, national policy developer, campaigner and senior consultant in diversity and inclusion and has spent a great deal of time working across various sectors including private, public, employment, legal, and policy sectors.
Celia has never known her life without her disability and takes pride in her disabled identity, working hard to promote education against systematic ableism, discrimination, inter sectioning identities and archaic stereotypes about the talents, potential, and ability of disabled people.
Matt Lloyd is an entrepreneur, an academic and a Paralympian. Taking a holistic view of the world, Matt seeks to understand situations from multiple perspectives and then utilise this understanding to work with communities to implement positive and sustainable change.
Having been born with Spina Bifida and Bi-Lateral Talepis, Matt has experience of being physically disabled from birth. In 2017 Matt was also diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis and gained an understanding of the process and emotions of a disability diagnosis as a adult.
Over the past 30 years Matt has been responsible for the creation and evolution of several organisations, ranging from profit making media companies through to social enterprises with a mission to provide opportunities. Matt has been an active board member of several large organisations, specialising in providing guidance on governance and change.