Recognising achievement is the key to changing perceptions on disability

Shaw Trust logoShaw Trust is marking International Day of Persons with Disabilities by recognising the achievements of key leaders in the disabled community across the United Kingdom.

The United Nations launched the International Day of Persons with Disabilities in 1992. It is an annual event which aims to promote the understanding of disability issues and improve support for the dignity, rights and wellbeing of people with disabilities. The day is also marked to increase the awareness of the benefits of an open and inclusive society, underlining the importance of integrating people with disabilities into all aspects of daily communal life.

Working in partnership with Powerful Media, Shaw Trust helped launch Power 100 – a list of the most influential and inspiring people with a disability in Britain.

The Power 100 list features people from a variety of backgrounds, including notable figures such as the renowned physicist, Stephen Hawking, who was diagnosed with motor neurone disease at the age of 22. The 72 year old physicist from Oxford tops the Power 100 list. He is joined by Stephen Fry and Dame Tanni Grey-Thompson, the Welsh Parliamentarian and TV presenter, in the top 10.

Roy O’Shaughnessy, chief executive of Shaw Trust, said:

“Shaw Trust is dedicated to breaking the barriers people with disabilities face. We work closely with employers and several other organisations to bring about a culture change, helping to create a truly open and inclusive society that enables people from all backgrounds to fulfil their ambitions.

“International Day of Disabled Persons is an important opportunity to raise awareness of the contribution disabled people make to our society. More work should be done to promote this annual celebration. Shaw Trust is privileged to work with inspiring disabled people every day through our employment services. We have seen an increase in the number of job opportunities for disabled people across many sectors of the economy. Each month we help over 200 people start work through Work Choice – a Government supported employment programme that helps people who due to their disability, may find it difficult to find or keep a job.

“The Power List of the 100 most influential disabled people in the United Kingdom is an important tool in our campaign to raise the aspirations of young people who have a disability. The Power List shows that having a disability is no barrier to success.”

About Shaw Trust

Shaw Trust is a national employment, learning and skills charity that helps people facing disadvantage into work, gain skills and take control of their futures. Over the past thirty years, the Trust has striven to combine its charitable heart with its commercial brain to provide the very best support to the people it was set up to serve. Find out more at

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