For further information on exhibiting contact Lucy Findlay, Event Director.
Are you ready to learn from the powerful voices of lived experience and revolutionise the way the leisure sector engages with adults who are disabled? Join us for an inspiring and transformative session where we centre on the perspectives of individuals with disabilities, uncovering invaluable insights to drive meaningful change.
In this session, we will shine a spotlight on inclusion. By hearing directly from individuals and allies, you’ll gain profound understanding on how the leisure sector can better support disabled adults. Their stories will illuminate the importance of inclusivity and highlight the opportunities for growth and improvement within our industry.Together, we'll explore the multifaceted barriers that hinder adults who are disabled access to and engagement in physical activities. From physical and environmental obstacles to social attitudes and misconceptions, we'll delve into the complexities that need to be addressed to create truly inclusive and accessible leisure environments.But we won't stop at identification; we'll move towards actionable change. Guided by the lived experience, we'll discuss strategies and solutions that can transform the leisure sector into a space that empowers and celebrates individuals of all abilities. Join us for an enlightening session that challenges our perspectives, uplifts the voices of lived experience, and empowers us to make lasting changes in the leisure sector. Together, let's co-create an inclusive and accessible environment that celebrates the diversity of abilities and ensures that every individual can thrive, flourish, and enjoy the benefits of an active lifestyle.
Ajay brings over 30 years’ experience in the sport and physical activity sector at local, regional, national and international level. As director of an equality, diversity and inclusion consultancy, Ajay has a life-long passion and commitment to addressing and challenging inequalities to support some of the most marginalised people in society to have better life-chances. Ajay is also a Neuro-linguistic Programme practitioner and stress management counsellor.
Step Change Studios
Rashmi is the founder of Step Change Studios, which provides opportunities for disabled people to be active through dance. She is also a qualified ETM and indoor cycling instructor. Over 20 years, she has developed expertise in the arts, sport, social affairs, and disability advocacy. She is a Board Member of Sport England, also serving as the Board Champion for Equality, Diversity and Inclusion. She holds a PhD from the University of Cambridge where her research focused on Intellectual Disability. Rashmi was recently recognised with an MBE for services to disabled people.
Royal Academy of Dance
Annie-Rose is an accomplished dancer and dance teacher. She graduated from Bird College gaining a degree in Musical Theatre and Professional Dance, and trained under the Centre for Advance Training scheme at the Northern School of Contemporary Dance. She has worked and performed on stage and screen. Credits include: Ant & Dec Saturday Night Takeaway, The Crown, Paralympics Homecoming, and the Commonwealth Games 2022 Opening Ceremony. During the pandemic, Annie-Rose was part of a project led by Step Change Studios called ‘Conversations with Carers’, which was focused on raising awareness of the lived experience of carers and improving their wellbeing through dance. Annie-Rose is trained in a wide range of dance styles and is currently teaching inclusive dance for the Royal Academy of Dance.
My name is Esme Khalique and I am a 35-year-old woman whose sight loss journey began as a result of a domestic violence incident. I subsequently developed a neurological condition caused by trauma and stress, which has taken all working vision. I am a single mother to four children. I absolutely love cooking and have made an impact through blind cooking on social media. My life has been anything but ordinary. From the moment I was born, I have had to battle for my rights and survival. I am a keen campaigner for women’s and disability rights. My life completely changed after I took up dancing. I believe through positive expression anything is possible. I am also the co-founder of Global Eyes London, which is run by blind people and supports and promotes the interest of the community.
My name is Adrienne Armorer and I first started dancing when a work colleague invited me to accompany her to a salsa class. I attended regularly until I was happy to do salsa every day of the week and even went on Salsa weekenders. Since losing my mobility due to developing Multiple Sclerosis in 2007, I have tried to keep up with dancing and exercising where I can. I have become a yellow belt in Shotokan Karate, was awarded a bronze medal in the ESKF British Adapted Karate Championship, a silver medal in the annual Pimlico Disability Swimming Gala, and have danced on stage at the Sadler’s Wells Theatre. I currently take part in 2 dance classes and 2 seated exercise classes a week.