-A A +A
Select color visibility that suits you Basic theme Dark theme Darker theme Text only


Martin Stevens OBE - Chair

Martin Stevens

Following his diagnosis with Multiple Sclerosis, in 1995, he volunteered at local level for the Multiple Sclerosis Society. In the 20 years since that he has volunteered at all levels of the MS Society, finishing a board term in December 2013.

He is currently serving as a Trustee for the Multiple Sclerosis International Federation.

In addition to a lived experience of disability and that gained through volunteer work nationally and internationally, he has a range of business skills gained from the workplace. His background is in accountancy and business management with a large multinational.

Martin lives with his wife, Margit, in Cheshire, they have two teenage children.

Lucy Aliband

Lucy Aliband

I have lived with experience of disability following an atrocious car accident in 2005, which put me in hospital for over 2 years.  

I started my career as a lawyer specialising in Private Equity, before moving into corporate finance at PricewaterhouseCoopers.  

But I wanted to make a positive change to other people’s lives. So I sought to work for a charity.

I did a two-year MBA at London Business School adding a sound understanding of finance and strategy to my legal knowledge. Thereafter working for a global NGO, initially in Washington DC, before being promoted to S.E. Africa as regional representative.

Living in South Africa, Lesotho and Swaziland, I had full executive and financial responsibility for a US $7 million (p.a.) programme spanning three countries with 100 employees located across five.

I raised over $7m annually (meeting with governments, ambassadors, foundations and local partners), managed the budgets (restricted and unrestricted) and decided which initiatives to pursue. For example, I launched an HIV–focused (agony aunt style) problem page in Lesotho’s only newspaper.

I want to be part of Disability Rights UK because I believe that there is an increased need not only for the defence and development of disabled rights, but also for empowering disabled people themselves. 

I am a firm believer in a grassroots approach.  If we join together, our voice will be strong.  DR UK are unique in championing this principle.

Roger Berry

Roger Berry

Roger has been actively involved in the disability rights movement for many years. He is Chair of the Bristol Law Centre and a member of the Executive Committee of the Law Centres Network. He has served as a trustee for a number of not-for-profit organisations, including Disability Alliance and Action on Disability and Work UK.

Roger was the MP for Kingswood (Bristol) from 1992 until 2010, during which time he campaigned on equality issues and, in particular, for disability rights. He was Secretary and Co-Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Disability Group and introduced a number of bills on disability issues, including the Civil Rights (Disabled Persons) Bill 1993.

Previously he was a Lecturer in Economics at the Universities of Bristol, Papua New Guinea and Sussex, and served on the former Avon County Council for 12 years, as Deputy Leader of the Council, Leader of the Labour Group, Chair of Finance and Chair of Equal Opportunities.

Professor Michael Bromwich - Honorary Treasurer

Michael Bromwich - Honorary Treasurer

Michael Bromwich was the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants’ Professor of Accounting and Financial Management at the London School of Economics and Political Science, 1985-2006 and still teaches at LSE. After qualifying as an accountant with the Ford Motor Company he took a BSc(Econ) degree at the LSE in 1965.  In 1970 he was appointed the first Professor of Accounting at the now University of Cardiff and was then Professor of Finance and Accounting at Reading University from 1977 to 1985.  He was voted ACCA/AA Distinguished Academic of the year in 1999. He is active in the profession, has served a term on the (then) Accounting Standards Committee and is a Past President of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (1987/88) and currently serves on CIMA’s Technical Committee. He was the Accounting Advisor to Office of Fair Trading. His most recent book is Management Accounting: Retrospect and Prospect (2010) Elsevier. He was Honorary Treasurer Disability Alliance, 2007-2011 and is now a trustee of Disability Rights UK.

Atif Choudhury

Atif Choudhury

Atif Choudhury is an award-winning social entrepreneur, with a background in economic justice and disability inclusion projects. Focussing on the inclusion of marginalised communities, Atif has worked a number of high profile grassroots social development projects across the UK, the Middle East and Asia.

He is the co-founder and CEO of Diversity and Ability (DnA) and Zaytoun CiC (the World’s first Fairtrade Palestinian olive oil cooperative), as well as serving as a trustee for the anti-poverty charity War on Want until 2017.

Drawing on his personal experience of dyslexia, Atif forged his path in the field of assistive technology starting as a 1-to-1 trainer and specialist study skills tutor. He then went on to co-found the award-winning disabled-led social enterprise, Diversity and Ability (DnA), which works to minimise the social exclusion of disabled/neurodiverse individuals across the UK, in the education, charitable and corporate sectors.

DnA provides one-to-one support, consultancy and disability-focused training for individuals, businesses, universities, public sector, trade unions, charities and think-tanks.

DnA is a disabled-led social enterprise that involves end-users in the training process, eliminating a top-down approach that can often lead to powerlessness and irrelevancy. Using a cross-subsidy model, DnA invests 50% or more of profits back into the business, paying for social justice projects through commercial income. This enables support of some of the UK’s most vulnerable homeless and unemployed communities.

DnA was nominated Social Enterprise of the Year in the 2012 awards and Atif was also nominated as a social entrepreneur of excellence in 2015 in the National Diversity Awards. In 2018 DnA received the Unltd award Grow award for its campaign work on tackling the disability gap, as well as much coveted Noon award at the 2018 Global `Equality and Diversity awards.

Atif is keen to highlight the importance of an intersectional approach in pushing for disability rights and equality. He is adamant that socio-economics, class, race, gender and culture must be part of the discussion in forging new policies and systems that work for everyone.

Madeline Close BSc (Hons), Dip. Comp

Madeline Close

When sight loss ended my nursing career in New Zealand, I travelled extensively before settling in the UK, where I re-trained as a programmer.  I spent 14 years in IT, working as a Business Analyst and as a Delivery Manager before another change of direction when I became a disability representative on the Hampshire Independent Equality Forum.  For 4 years I was the Voluntary Sector and Diverse Communities Officer for Healthwatch Hampshire and sat on the Hampshire Voluntary Sector Consortium.  Currently I serve on Wessex Local Eye Health Network.

I’ve always been engaged in volunteering e.g. as a campaigner for the RNIB, a speaker for Guide Dogs and I’ve always been a disability activist.  I particularly enjoy devising creative ways to get the message across e.g. using Braille and Nepalese to give health professionals a taste of information in inaccessible formats.  Perhaps the greatest asset I offer is the ability to work with diverse groups and individuals to highlight access issues, challenge attitudes and influence service delivery.  

In October 2018 I graduated from the Hampshire School for Social Entrepreneurs having helped found Disabled People’s Voice, which is a user-led co-operative.

Frances Hasler - Vice Chair

Frances Hasler

Frances Hasler is currently Director of Healthwatch Camden, vice-Chair of Disability Rights UK and a lay board member of her local Clinical Commissioning Group, in Sussex.

She was the co-founder of the National Centre for Independent Living (now part of DRUK).  She has held varied voluntary and public posts, and has also worked for government organisations, promoting user involvement in policy making and in services.

Daniel Holt

Daniel Holt LLB (London), LLM (Human Rights Law)

Daniel is training to be a barrister and has legal experience in discrimination and disability law, mental health law, privacy and information law, administrative law and UK, supranational and international human rights law. He volunteers at Hackney Law Centre and the Free Representation Unit.

Daniel is Founding Director of Being Disabled in a Normal Society, a platform for peer-to-peer support and information on disability rights, accessible venues, social events, sporting activities and holiday venues. He is also the Founder of the Association of Disabled Lawyers, which exists to create a community and network for disabled lawyers; campaign for more inclusive and supportive legal professions; further research, education and training into best practice for creating supportive and nurturing professions for disabled lawyers; and co-operate with other organisations whose objects are similar to those of the Association.

He has served on the boards of Disability Rights UK, Regard and Bi Pride UK. He has also enjoyed roles with Spokz People, Being Disabled in a Normal Society, Disability Rights UK, British Institute of Human Rights and Queen Mary, University of London’s Students’ Union, Legal Advice Centre and Pro Bono Society.

Daniel has also undertaken several campaigns. One led to an equality and diversity policy being enacted and another was awarded as ‘Campaign of the Year 2013’ after leading to £400k being dedicated to improving accessibility on Queen Mary’s campus. He has also led teams that have published guidance on discrimination rights. His general campaigning work saw him ‘highly commended’ at the 2018 European Diversity Awards.

Ian Loynes

Ian Loynes

Ian is the Chief Executive of SPECTRUM Centre for Independent Living. Formed in 1984, SPECTRUM, based in Southampton is one of the oldest CIL’s in the UK and one of the most nationally proactive and recognised.

Ian’s formal education specialised on the then emerging computer revolution; he ran his own Computer Consultancy business for 15 years before moving to Hampshire in 1994. Shortly after this he joined SPECTRUM to develop Direct Payments Support Services, taking the Chief Executive’s role in 1998.

Ian is actively involved with several other organisations controlled by Disabled People. He was a Trustee for the National Centre for Independent Living; and has been a Trustee of Disability Rights UK since they formed in 2012.

Ian has also served on a number of influential bodies, locally, regionally & nationally. Ian served on the Independent Living Scrutiny Group (Office of Disability Issues) and co-founded SENDPO (the South East Network of Disabled People’s Organisations)

Ian is evangelical about the Social Model of Disability, the importance of a strong and vibrant Disability Movement, and the development of User-Led Organisations. Ian views these as tools to enable the emancipation of Disabled People from the daily discrimination and oppression they face. Ian is a strong supporter of the move away from Disabled People’s traditional reliance and association with ‘charity’, being viewed as objects of pity and institutional based service provision.

Martin Smith

Martin Smith

I have worked with disabled people for over 45 years. First as an Occupational Therapist in Mental Health and then Social Services settings, progressing through being a Senior OT, Team and Commissioning Manager and Director of Disabled Peoples Services. Then, for 15 years until I retired in 2014, I was a manager of the Disability and Dyslexia Service (which I set up in 1999) at Brunel University London and of three DSA Assessment Centres. The service became one of largest in the country and we won a number of awards, including the Times Higher HE Award in 2008, Trailblazers awards and the BDF 'Disability Know How' award in 2014.

I have also been a trustee of a very active Association of Disabled People (DASH in Hillingdon) for the past 28 years and I am on the Board of the National Association of Disability Practitioners (NADP). I also proofread DSA reports and give advice on access issues.

As manager of three DSA Assessment centres I have an understanding of assistive technology and the other forms of support to aid independent study and, as an Occupational Therapist, I have a good knowledge of IL equipment and of accessible building design and facilities. I have spoken at conferences in the UK and abroad about 'Access for all' and overcoming barriers. I have worked with a huge number of disabled people (and organisations) over individual needs and aspirations.

After working for over 45 years with disabled people I am still passionate about doing all I can to further the cause of the social model of disability. Overcoming physical and attitudinal barriers is what I care strongly about. The notion of 'independent living' is fundamental to all my beliefs in working - for people to live with dignity, self-direction and fair access is crucial.

Rob Trent Bsc - Chair People & Governance Committee

Rob Trent

Rob is married and has a daughter. He worked for Ordnance Survey in Southampton for over 30 years in IT and Risk Management, until retiring in June 2018.

Rob loves painting landscapes, and is an artist with the Mouth and Foot Painting Artists. He also runs an accessibility business called AccessAdvisr (website https://accessadvisr.net/), and is a co-founder of CityMaaS, a startup with the vision of enabling frictionless and spontaneous travel for disabled people.

As well as being a Trustee with Disability Rights UK, Rob is also a Governor at Treloar's School and College, and Flat Spaces, a charity providing holiday accommodation for severely disabled people.

In his spare time Rob likes family holidays and watching AFC Bournemouth.

Jacqueline Winstanley BSc hons

Jacqueline Winstanley

Jacqueline is best described as a global disruptor & innovator, with a deeply held and proven conviction to increasing equality of access to life’s opportunities through the creation of inclusive environments. She is a recognised international expert and consultant on inclusion and accessibility challenges.

A thought leader in the reduction of global inequalities, Jacqueline’s work is recognised as good practice in the UK and internationally. Over the years, she has built an audit trail in proof of concept and outcomes, most notably in Inclusive Economic Growth, Workforce Retention, Inclusive Entrepreneurship, Inclusive Play, Childcare, Parks and Open Spaces. She has also influenced significant changes in government policy in the UK as a direct result of her clarity of vision in this area.  She continues to develop and implement frameworks and solutions for global cities and communities, especially within the workplace and access to services.

Jacqueline regularly presents at high level gatherings at the UN, in Windsor and Westminster.  She is also an author and regular contributor to national & international Advisory Boards, Good Practice Guidelines, White Papers & Select Committee evidence sessions. There is no doubt, her work has and continues to enrich lives and reduce inequalities.

Directorships: Founder, Universal Inclusion & The Inclusive Entrepreneur; Chair, FLUIDITY, UK Forum for Hidden & Fluctuating Conditions; Trustee, DRUK Disability Rights UK, FILT (Foundation for Independent Living Trust): Co Chair, International Council of Caring Communities; Pink Shoe Club Ambassador & Diversity lead Team UK EB; Virgin Start Up Mentor.