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Leadership Academy Programme Year 1

Disability Rights UK new Leadership Academy pilot programme has completed its first year - 2014/2015

The programme was officially launched on 29 October 2014.

This is an innovative and unique pilot programme designed by disabled people for disabled people. The programme is specifically intended for working disabled people with leadership aspirations to develop their leadership competencies, increase leadership contributions and ultimately increase leadership role models amongst disabled people within society; the programme is informed and directly shaped by disabled.

Benefits for the candidates were;

  • Commitment to 4 non-consecutive days for this uniquely designed Leadership Programme.
  • Mentoring by senior executives.
  • Coaching from professional coaches.
  • Institute of Leadership & Management (ILM) membership – free for 1-year –Access to a wide range of leadership & management resources and professional information (Under Development).
  • Establishing strong peer networks.
  • Career progression – Through increased confidence, empowerment and becoming ‘Leadership Ready’.

Core applicant’s requirements were the following;

  • You are an employee considering a promotion.
  • You have a lived experience of a disability and/or a long term health condition.
  • Your employer will need to recommend you for the programme.
  • You are currently in a role where you have had experience of management – of a project, a significant task, or people.
  • Applicants should have at least 6 months consistent work experience leading up to their application.

Programme structure and delivery;

The induction/module one took place on 29th October 2014. Themes focused on the delegates creating their mission statements and learning agreements, rapport building and networking, mentoring what it is and what it’s not and what they should expect, the benefits of being on a ‘recognised ILM’ programme and establishing their leadership aspirations.

Module two took place 8th December 2014, themes focused on issues associated with defining leadership, leadership skills and styles and explored leadership self-awareness and methods for developing leadership competencies and visions whilst it intrinsically focused on and continued to explore disability associated advantages and the many ways in which disabled people provide a unique perspective, increased value and a range of opportunities for increased inclusion and participation in society. Feedback from participants was very positive.

Module three took place on 24th February 2015 and delegates focused on managing conflict at work, how to influence and have the most effective impact, the significance of emotional intelligence on their leadership style and approach and what is and how to exercise authentic leadership.

Module four/ graduation ceremony took place on 8th May 2015, the final programme day focused on reflections of the delegates journey’s to date, the social model of leadership and sustaining success and network mapping. The day culminated in the delegate’s graduation ceremony, with ‘live project group’ presentations. Our first year award ceremony was a great time of achievement and success. The attendees included key figures from the field of disability, line managers, mentors and the Chair and staff from Disability Rights UK.

If you would like to find out more about the Leadership Academy or are interested in being part of our next, 2015-16 intake please email;



Esmée Fairbairn Foundation and Institute of Leadership & Management