Paralympian and Northampton campaigner both named in top 10 of influential disabled people in the UK
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The list celebrates disabled people in the UK who are at the top of their game and in positions of influence.
Walsall-born Ellie Simmonds, who trained in Northampton, said: “There are so many incredible disability advocates out there who are changing the way individuals live with disabilities and to be part of the Disability Power 100 Top 10 is just incredible. I am literally blown away.”
Ellie, who is taking part in this year’s series of BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing, is the first contestant with dwarfism in the history of the Saturday night show.
She swam in four Paralympic Games, winning eight medals – five of them gold after making her international debut at the age of 12.
Last year Ellie called time on competing and is now an ambassador for Scouts, WaterAid and a patron of the Dwarfs Sports Association UK. Most recently she helped present coverage of the Commonwealth Games from Birmingham.
Andrew Miller was among the first generation of disabled presenters on British TV in the1980s and became the first wheelchair user to run a major UK arts venue at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama in Cardiff.
He is a national council member of Arts Council England, a governor of the Royal Shakespeare Company and a trustee of BAFTA.
He also co-founded the UK Disability Arts Alliance and has been described as a “trailblazer for the rights of disabled people” in the UK.
Andrew said: “I am incredibly proud to appear in the Power100 Top 10 for the second time for my work in arts and culture.
“The Power 100 is the only annual platform that highlights the huge contribution deaf and disabled people make to society and it's a real honour to be recognised and included.”
Strictly Coming Dancing winner for 2021, Eastenders star Rose Ayling-Ellis, was named number one in Shaw Trust’s Disability Power 100 list.
One of the 27-year-old's performances on the show won the must-see moment at the BAFTA TV awards in 2022 when she and Giovanni Pernice silently danced part of their routine.
The dance made history giving millions of viewers an insight into the world of people living with hearing loss.
The names of those on this year’s Shaw Trust Disability Power 100 were revealed on Tuesday, October 18 at London’s Landmark Hotel in a ceremony hosted by Diane Lightfoot, CEO of the Business Disability Forum.
The list was compiled by a panel of judges from more than 700 nominations from members of the public. It includes people from different areas of life including sport, business, the arts, science, politics, law, and entertainment.
Chair of the judges, disability activist Caroline Casey, said it was “difficult” to choose an overall winner.
She continued: “Rose helped millions of people gain a better understanding of what it is like to live in a world where you cannot hear.
“No-one will surely ever forget the dance when the music fell silent and, for a few seconds, we all experienced Rose’s world - one too often overlooked, misunderstood and considerably underinvested in.”