Developing Deaf and Disabled Leaders for the future

Launch of a new project to support lived experience leadership.

About the project

We are delighted to announce that we have been funded by the National Lottery Community Fund to run an 18 month leadership training and development Programme.

We know DDPOs face significant challenges in “bringing on” new Deaf and Disabled leaders or accessing leadership development programmes that are accessible and right for DDPOs. Over the next 18 months we are delivering an effective leadership programme with 10 Deaf/Disabled people who have shown an interest or potential for leadership. Using “user-led design” theories and techniques, participants will be supported to identify their own leadership development goals and to work practically on leading a change in their organisations, with coaching, training and support to do this. Together we will analyse and understand what support is most effective in achieving leadership success.

You can view a powerpoint presentation about the project here: Developing Deaf and Disabled Leaders

Who is leading the leadership programme

This programme is being led by Alex Hendra, Inclusion London’s Associate Business Consultant. She has extensive experience in business development and service design support with DDPOs, and experience of co-designing highly successful leadership programmes with Disabled young people.

Update on progress

In August 2019 we recruited 10 Deaf /Disabled people from within our existing networks of DDPOs to take part in the programme. These include trustees, staff and volunteers who want to develop their leadership skills and confidence, and who show interest and signs of becoming potential new leaders.

Workshop 1

On 27 September 2019 we held our first workshop. This gave an introduction to the programme; a chance for all participants to meet and get to know each other; to explore what leadership is; to explore individual leadership goals, fears and motivations and to learn what ‘design thinking’ is. The day was a mix of discussion, handouts and exercises including making a  ‘collage’ of inspiring leaders, recording a radio interview and a chance for each participant to build an ’empathy box’. Everyone jumped into the first session with enthusiasm and we were hugely impressed by everyone’s enthusiasm and willingness to challenge themselves.