Meet tomorrow’s leaders in a new publication from the ETF and council for disabled children

The Education and Training Foundation (ETF) and Council for Disabled Children have published Tomorrow’s Leaders – A World Beyond Disability. The publication profiles the achievements of over 30 inspirational young people who are leading in their communities, with ambition, hard work and dedication to improving society.

Tomorrow’s Leaders recognises the remarkable achievements of different disabled young people, giving them a chance to share their personal stories and inspire others. Each individual describes the impact they have made, not just on their own life, but also on those around them and the barriers they have overcome to succeed.

The young people include:

  • Joe Fautley (24) – who plans and co-delivers training sessions across England for Information, Advice and Support Services having grown up with autism and dyspraxia
  • Awa Jagne (21) – is a dynamic performer who is also involved in drama and scriptwriting at Act Up and Talawa Theatre companies. She openly shares her experiences as a young person with Cerebral Palsy
  • Emma Beeden (19) – an adviser to the NHS, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), and Great Ormond Street Hospital who travels across the country for work with and without her wheelchair

Teresa Carroll, National Head of Inclusion at the Education and Training Foundation, said: “When I talk to young disabled people, they tell me that far too often members of society focus on their disability rather than recognising their talents and aspirations – ‘they can’t see beyond the wheelchair!’. We are all so much more than one characteristic and nobody wants to be defined by one part of their experience.

“This important and inspirational publication aims to address this narrowed focus. Tomorrow’s Leaders showcase that by changing how we view disability, we open the door so that our young people can excel and make a difference to their own lives and to wider society. Our education system, and very often Further Education providers, recognised their potential and worked with them to ensure that they achieved their aspirations. I encourage everyone to start seeing ‘beyond the disability’.”

Dame Christine Lenehan, Director of the Council for Disabled Children, said: “Across the country, young disabled people are leading the way in their chosen fields of expertise, but we don’t hear about their successes often enough. Their achievements should be celebrated and their skills acknowledged. Having spent most of my own working life focused on improving outcomes for disabled children and young people, I am consistently inspired by young people’s determination to create change, often in the face of great adversity.”

Read Tomorrow’s Leaders – A World Beyond Disability through the Education and Training Foundation’s Excellence Gateway.