The disability advocate transforming workplaces & lives

Deborah Lawson

Understanding first hand, the challenges of having multiple severe disabilities, living with extreme daily pain and as a user of a large tilt-in-space powered wheelchair, Deborah has dedicated over 2 decades of her life to create a more accessible and inclusive society as a disability advocate.

Deborah, recognised in the media as a ‘trailblazer’ is playing a pivotal role in championing diversity, equity and inclusion in the UK having transformed 1000’s of buildings, businesses, organisations and even a significant music tour, making them more accessible and inclusive to disabled people.

“Deborah is the most selfless, kind, courageous, positive, hardworking, supportive and genuine person I have ever known.”

She has left a permanent mark on the fashion industry, where she knew there was a need for better diversity and inclusion. Her accessible fashion advice (she used to be a stylist) has transformed personal shopping appointments for disabled customers in over 500 large fashion stores. Deborah created a comprehensive staff training programme which is used in over 600 stores and led to improved disability awareness, customer service, and helped create a more inclusive workplace culture.


Deborah is a member of The Regional Stakeholder Network, which reports to the government on various policies, services and issues, including transport, housing and employment. The network aims to amplify disabled people’s voices and help develop a new national strategy for disabled people.


As one of the pioneers for diversity, equity, and inclusion, courageously advocating for greater acceptance since the late ’90s when there was a lot of intolerance and resistance towards anyone raising awareness and creating positive change, Deborah’s impact has paved the way for countless others to follow her lead.

“The countless lives she has touched and the substantial changes she has brought about in the UK are a testament to her unwavering commitment.”

Deborah’s own journey is not without its challenges. Despite facing many huge personal adversities, including a severe accident that left her studying for a degree on her back over 5 years and a devastating house fire where she lost her home and all her possessions, she has exhibited unparalleled resilience. Her pursuit of education in the face of physical limitations, graduating top of her class, and attending her graduation despite homelessness demonstrates her extraordinary determination.

Deborah will be sharing her story at the Inspiring Women awards Lunch on 17/05/2024.