Dr Gregory Burke
Barrister and Founder of AccessAble
Gregory Burke is a social entrepreneur and an award-winning barrister dedicated to fighting for disabled people’s rights.
While a student at Cambridge University, Gregory – as a wheelchair-user – felt disabled by poor access and a lack of information about the accessibility of venues across the UK. Determined to do something about it, he co-ordinated a national consultation exercise recording disabled people’s experiences accessing their local community and beyond.
More than 100 disability groups fed into the project which led Gregory to launch DisabledGo.com in 2002. The website gave disabled people and carers accurate, detailed information to assess for themselves whether a venue would be accessible for them. Rebranded as AccessAble.co.uk in 2018, the website serves more than two million people a year and helps over 400 large organisations to communicate and improve their access. Gregory continues to guide AccessAble as the Founder-Director.
In 2010, after a decade of hearing people’s stories of discrimination, Gregory retrained as barrister, while still serving as full time CEO of DisabledGo.com. He was called to the Bar in 2012. Within five years he was Head of Employment Law at 7 Bedford Row, a leading London’s barristers’ chambers; a position usually reserved for barristers of 15 years’ experience or more.
In the last year alone, Gregory has secured hundreds of thousands of pounds for disabled people in judgments and settlements. In 2019 he won the prestigious Chambers & Partners UK Bar award for “an outstanding contribution to Equality and Inclusion” and was identified as a “Future Leader of the Bar”. Gregory regularly trains lawyers on disability equality, disability rights and financial compensation as well as mentoring aspirant disabled barristers.
“One of the great benefits of the Shaw Trust Disability Power 100 is that it shows the professional excellence and social leadership disabled people can both achieve and provide. I could not have realised my ambitions had disabled people before me not fought, educated and inspired. I recognise this as a floating debt to the next generation of disabled people. There are still very significant challenges but I hope the Power 100 both inspires you as to the range of roles you can carve for yourself and alerts you to the support of allies who want you to succeed.”