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   c.doel@btinternet.com.

Enquiries about research and consultancy should be directed to Future Inclusion   amaynard@futureinclusion.com.


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.