Equal Ability CIC has ceased trading following the death of
its Managing Director, Sue Maynard Campbell MBE, in May 2008.
Enquiries about training should be directed to Claire Doel
Enquiries about research and consultancy should be directed to
About Equal Ability CIC
Equal Ability was founded in 1992 by Sue Maynard Campbell and her
sister Alice Maynard. It was one of the first disability
consultancies in the UK to work with businesses to help them develop
disability competence. Alice left Equal Ability in 1996 to pursue
other business opportunities (later rejoining as Company Secretary)
and Sue continued to build the business for 10 years, before
converting to a Community Interest Company in 2005. Community
Interest Companies are held for the benefit of a community of people
– in Equal Ability’s case, disabled people – and regulated by the
CIC regulator. Sue wanted to be able to undertake more work for the
benefit of disabled people and their organisations whilst continuing
to help business and statutory authorities on a professional basis.
She was joined in this work by Claire Doel, who became a
non-executive director in 2005.
Equal Ability worked according to the Social Model of Disability.
First articulated by disabled people themselves in the late '70s,
the Social Model of Disability, otherwise referred to as the
Equality Approach, shows that what really disables people are
barriers society creates. These arise when we fail to take into
account the wants, needs and aspirations of a significant portion of
the population, those with particular impairments or medical
conditions. To 'cure' disability, it is the barriers in society -
its physical environment, organisation and attitudes - that need to
be dismantled. It is through these barriers that disabled people
experience direct and indirect discrimination.
Changes are generally seen to be beneficial to all - customer
service training focusing on difference, acceptance of flexible
working policies, review of the content and format of information
provided, automatic doors. Many of the changes that bring equality
for disabled people fulfil the equality needs of other groups that
experience discrimination. Personal experience of disability may, by
taking the equality approach, be viewed as a positive asset
contributing to a truly diverse customer base or workforce.