Black and white photo of woman with long hair dressed smartly, sat in a powered chair

Deborah Lawson, named as one of the UK’s most influential disabled people by the 2023 Disability Power 100, was honoured with the ‘Woman of Courage Award’ from the Global She Inspires Awards in November and also achieved her second ‘Lifetime Achievement Award’ in November from the National Advocacy Awards. Recognised as the youngest recipient of two such Lifetime Achievement awards in 2023, Deborah has dedicated over two decades to driving positive change in the disabled community.

Her commitment since her teens has led her to support thousands of disabled individuals and their families, amplifying their voices and ensuring they are treated with dignity and respect. She’s helped improve the accessibility and facilities in thousands of buildings, created a nationwide disability awareness training programme used in over 600 stores and provided professional and accessible fashion advice in more than 500 stores during personal shopping appointments. To ensure change is made at a policy level, she’s a member of The Regional Stakeholder Network, and she supports and advises her local council on accessibility and raising disability awareness. Deborah’s impact continues to extend across many areas and includes an upcoming book aimed at fostering self-acceptance in young children.

The National Advocacy Awards said, “Deborah has supported thousands of disabled people to secure their rights…she’s worked tirelessly with organisations in the field of fashion and business….and has turned the words diversity, equality and inclusion into reality. She was an early pioneer of diversity and courageously advocated for greater acceptance at a time when there was a lot of intolerance and resistance towards anybody raising this type of awareness. But the moment anyone puts a hurdle there, she smashes straight through it. Deborah doesn’t just talk about change; she makes change happen.”