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Disability Access Campaigner

2023. Deborah Lawson

Deborah Lawson, from Cheshire, is a power chair user and former makeup, hair and fashion stylist who has worked with 1000’s of retail companies and High Street stores, such as the Arcadia Group Ltd, to improve access within their buildings.

Deborah’s experience in the fashion industry inspired her to promote greater awareness of diversity and inclusion in fashion and advertising. Deborah has  designed a range of online resources and a nationwide disability awareness programme to help train staff working in retail or frontline customer service.  These cover common issues faced by disabled people, including disability awareness, improving customer service and creating a more inclusive workplace culture, which has been implemented across 600 stores nationwide

Deborah advocates for greater representation of disabled people in advertising, and also supports and empowers disabled individuals in a wide range of areas, including informed decision-making, accessing services and promoting inclusion in all aspects of society.

In a personal letter to Deborah, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said:

You have helped to make thousands of retail companies and high street stores more inclusive and accessible. You have used your experience in the fashion industry to promote greater awareness of disability and you are supporting staff working in frontline customer services through your online resources and national training programme.

Your service to our country is helping to ensure that everyone is treated with dignity and respect.”

Deborah said:

I am deeply grateful and incredibly humbled to be the recipient of the Prime Minister’s Point of Light award for my work advocating for people living with disabilities.

“It is such an honour to be recognised for the work I have done over the years, and continue to do, promoting inclusivity, accessibility and raising awareness, as I passionately believe every person deserves to have equal opportunities and to be treated with dignity and respect.

“Once again, thank you from the bottom of my heart for this wonderful recognition. I am delighted and it truly means the world to me.”

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The daily Points of Light award recognises outstanding individual volunteers - people who are making a change in their community.

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