A graduate from De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) has been named in a ‘Power 100’ list of the most influential disability campaigners in the UK.
Simon Sansome, who graduated from DMU with a degree in Journalism and lives in Leicestershire, was nominated for a place in the Shaw Trust Disability Power 100 for 2021in recognition of his dedication to breaking the stigma surrounding disability and standing up to discrimination.
Simon said: “I’m not sure who put my name forward but I am grateful and it is great recognition of what I have achieved. More importantly, since it started four years ago, the Power 100 has helped to raise disability awareness – something I am incredibly passionate about.”
Simon sustained a life changing injury when he was 32 which left him disabled from the waist down. It forced him to take early retirement and he decided to go to DMU to study Journalism and pursue his passion for writing.
In 2016, while at DMU, Simon set up a Facebook page called Ability Access with the idea of raising awareness of, and improving, disabled access. His award-winning campaign has had a global impact and the page now reaches more than 20 million people a month.
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Since graduating in 2018 Simon has become part owner of production company Branded Studios, along with award-winning director Charlotte Fantelli and Sunday Times Rich List Accountant/Racing Driver Simon Dolan.
Branded has worked with the likes of Sir Patrick Stewart and Sylvester Stallone and is currently producing a number of TV shows including Sun Hill, a spin-off from ITV’s famous police drama The Bill, which ran for 25 years up to 2010 and is widely recognized as one of the most iconic cop shows in British television history.
On top of all that, Simon has a podcast called The Grumpy Gits which he co-presents and produces with TV presenter Adam Pearson which has had more than 300,000 listens.
Simon is also a committee member of the National Trust to make visiting their attractions more accessible for the disabled community.
Simon said: "I never expected to become a minority and what you notice very quickly is change is very hard unless the majority are affected.
“We live in an unequal society and it is an uphill struggle for the minority, but I am up for that task to fight for equal rights and making sure anyone who faces disability discrimination has a voice.
“Ability Access has helped so many people reach out and made changes to policies and procedures, but there is still so much we can do and achieve.”
A fifth of the UK’s population has a disability or impairment, however, there is very little recognition of successful and influential disabled people. The Shaw Trust wants to change the public perception of disability, to recognise strong, successful, influential people who are leaders in their field.
It says the Power 100 list plays a vital role in providing much needed encouragement to the young and talented leaders of tomorrow, allowing them to see that aspiration and ambition can be fulfilled regardless of disability or impairment.
The full Shaw Trust Disability Power List 100 can be found on www.disabilitypower100.com.
Posted on Tuesday 29th June 2021