Tuesday, 8 December 2015

Disability Top 100 Power list

[edited to add images]
This is the second year that Shaw Trust and Powerful media have compiled a list of the top 100 most powerful people with disabilities - the decisions on who makes the final list by a panel headed by paralympian and presenter Ade Adepitan.

It is surreal to find myself on the list. I draw stickmen. It's not really something you traditionally associate with 'influential' people - but hey, I'm not complaining! And I should probably also point out that most of my products are created because people contact me asking for them - so half the credit for my work goes to my customers. Which must mean that I have influential customers!

Anyway. Being on the list is surreal. Surreal but nice.

I went to the launch event to mark UN International Day of Persons with Disabilities on 3rd December at the Lloyds head office in London

Here are some of my highlights:

  • Discovering that the wheelie accessible London buses really are accessible!
  • Having the staff at Lloyds be so totally unfazed by some of my more unusual access needs, and whats more, coming up with practical solutions quickly, efficiently and with no fuss. As if I'd asked to borrow a pen rather than for somewhere to lie down, and a bag of ice t :D (I got special permission to go lie down in the Executive Board Room - where only the chosen few get to set foot and the top level banking decisions are made!)
  • Meeting Tanni Grey-Thompson for the second time in seven days (also saw her at the OT show). 
    Hannah Ensor with Tanni GT at the Top 100 launch event


  • Realising I've already met, or conversed with online, many of the people on the list! (Hannah Cockcroft, Lost Voice Guy (aka Lee Ridley), and had heard of many more (Giles Long, Geoff Spinks, Dominic Littlewood it was great meeting you! Adam Hills - really wish you'd been at the launch :D)
  • Meeting some new people who were really awesome - including Michael McGrath of the Muscle Help foundation, and John Horan a barrister who fights for disability rights.
  • Watching the 'John Townsend Trust Children's Unity choir sign/sing 2 songs.

Hannah with Michael McGrath form the Muscle Help Foudnation.

The best thing about it though was the diversity - the diversity of people, disabilities and careers/roles. Everyone in that room had overcome various barriers - both practical and attitudinal to make it to where they were. It was a room full of innovators. A room full of unconventional. It made me feel at home, and very positive about the future for people with disabilities.

I'm not yet entirely sure what being on the list means in the long term, but I will do my best to be worthy of it!

Actually, perhaps the best thing was that I'd made it onto a Top 100 list with both Tanni G-T and Stephen Fry :D Now that's something I never thought I'd say!

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