Friday 3rd December was International Day of People with Disabilities and two of our athletes delivered workshops to three different corporate clients to talk about the importance of the day and also the huge benefits people with disabilities can bring to organisations and teams.

The theme of IDPWD 2021 was fighting for rights in the post-COVID era and the day celebrated the challenges, barriers and opportunities for people who live with disabilities, in the context of a global pandemic.

Liz Johnson is a Paralympic swimming champion and she delivered a session to our partners Sanctuary Supported Living to help launch their wider push on disability inclusion in the workplace, while two time Paralympian skier Anna Turney delivered two sessions via Health and Wellbeing company ViaVita Health to corporate clients.

The session delivered for Sanctuary Supported Living by Liz was the launch of a wider push on disability inclusion in their workplace. Sanctuary are looking to remove the fear around disability and make it okay to ask those difficult questions while looking at barriers that currently prevent that from happening. They want to create a safe environment for people to be able to voice their opinions and concerns and expand their knowledge. Liz said:

International Day of People with Disabilities is super important as it draws people’s attention to the disparities that still exist and it puts it on people’s agendas. The day though shouldn’t just be a day that celebrates people’s achievements but it should be used to create a conscious effort and commitment to create authentically inclusive environments throughout society.

Talking about the sessions she led on Friday, Anna said:

It’s really important to talk about diversity, especially disability as it’s often the group that’s forgotten and yet it’s probably the biggest and also it’s the one we may all end up joining. By not considering people with disabilities we’re missing a big talent pool of people with unique experiences and skills that they’ve had to develop from having to overcome challenges. Disabled people can bring a huge amount to society and business, but typically they have been forgotten or ignored so if we can challenge our assumptions and first impressions and draw on the strengths that people with different experiences have and focus on those strengths, then they can make a real difference in business and society. 

One of the key messages of the talks was that we’re all going to face problems in our lives but we can all overcome these challenges in our lives with the right support. I’m passionate about this topic so it’s so important to speak to organisations about this.

Our world class athletes are hugely inspirational and motivational speakers and cover a wide range of topics on Unlocking Performance. If you are interested in finding out more about the impact an elite athlete can have delivering a session to your organisation or team, please don’t hesitate to contact Pippa on [email protected]