Ciara Lawrence is a longstanding columnist with Able Magazine and was placed fifth in the Shaw Trust Power 100 list of the UK’s Most Influential Disabled People.
Ciara is a well-known campaigner for the rights of people with a learning disability at Mencap where she’s currently heading up their ambitious ‘Big Plan’, the ultimate aim of which is for the UK to be the best place in the world for the 1.5 million people with a learning disability to live happy and healthy lives.
Able Magazine editor, Tom Jamison, who has been on the list since 2019 said: “I’m so thrilled for Ciara. I always look forward to receiving her magazine column. It’s always so full of energy and positivity; she’s a great role model and fully deserves her recognition.” He added: “It’s also good to see so many other people that have contributed in some way to the publication appear on the list. I know they’ll all be delighted – and I hope they realise how proud we are to be acquainted with them.”
The 2021 list also incorporated disability organisations for the first time and in fact was topped in first place by The Valuable 500, a social enterprise that is working towards getting CEOs, and their companies, to make a public commitment to disability inclusion. Perhaps it’s a mark of her own modesty that their energetic founder, Caroline Casey wasn’t on the list as an individual influencer, where she doubtless belongs.
Founder of Euan’s Guide disability travel website, Euan Macdonald, was also listed in the top 10 and saw his organisation listed in the community action category.
The Shaw Trust put together the annual list to draw attention to the many successful and influential disabled people who receive so little recognition elsewhere, stating that “At Shaw Trust we want to change the public perception of disability, we want to recognise strong, successful, influential people who are leaders in their field. The Disability Power 100 recognises and amplifies the successes of the finalists, with the goal of encouraging talented leaders of tomorrow through their example to achieve their full potential, regardless of disability or impairment.”
Among the other influencers was a host of disabled people who have been involved with Able Magazine over the years including: Martyn Sibley, Vidyamala Burch, Amo Raju, Amy Conachan and Samantha Renke.