Meet The Team
Chief Executive Officer
Morven works with the team to ensure that Disability Equality Scotland is effective in its aims to promote equality and to reduce barriers to Independent Living. Responsible for the strategic development of the organisation, Morven continues to advance the influence and impact of Disability Equality Scotland and its stakeholders.
Deputy Chief Executive Officer
Douglas is responsible for managing a broad number of projects and initiatives. Douglas works closely with the CEO to implement the organisation’s strategy to work towards social inclusion for disabled people in Scotland.
Equality and Access Manager
Ian is our Equality and Access Manager and it is his role to support, develop and promote the Access Panel Network. Ian is also responsible for providing guidance on accessibility to external organisations and managing our Disability Equality Access and Learning training course.
Communications and Research Manager
James is responsible for sharing information such as news, events and consultations to our members in a clear and accessible manner. This includes producing our weekly poll, monthly newsletter and magazine, ‘Open Door’. James is also responsible for the upkeep and population of all website content.
Access and Engagement Coordinator
Calum is our Access and Engagement Coordinator and he works with Ian to provide support to the Access Panel Network in Scotland through training, outreach, and capacity building. He also administers the Access Panel Grant and helps to deliver our disability roadshows and transport events.
Fiach is responsible for a project to pilot a Hate Crime Charter on the ferries network. This project builds on the success of the pilot carried out in 2019 on the train and bus networks. The Charter acts as a zero-tolerance approach to hate crime on public transport.
Theo is responsible for the day to day running of the ‘Accessible Travel for Disabled People’ project for Transport Scotland, undertaking research to inform the key priorities in Transport Scotland’s Delivery Plan for 2022/23.
Easy Read Worker
Shona produces information in Easy Read, an accessible format that makes written information easier to understand for people with a learning disability. Shona’s previous jobs have all involved working with adults with a learning disability, and she has always been a strong advocate of inclusive communication.
Easy Read Worker
Claire also translates information into Easy Read. Her background is in Primary Education, with a focus on neurodiversity, inclusion and emotional wellbeing. She values Easy Read for the wider audience who can be reached with this style of inclusive communication.
Easy Read Trainer
Lucy is responsible for developing and delivering our Easy Read training course. She has a teaching background and is keen to raise awareness of inclusive communication and disabled access. For more information about training opportunities, send her an email at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Meet The Board of Trustees’
Kayla-Megan Burns: Convener
Kayla is a climate and social justice activist who has worked locally, nationally and internationally on projects and campaigns covering areas such as the climate emergency, accessibility, the right to education for all, anti-hate, and gender equality.
Originally from Enniskillen, N.Ireland, Kayla moved to Glasgow to pursue studies in Biomedical Science at the University of Strathclyde. Since then Kayla has rapidly built their career, becoming the President and Chair of the Trustee Board at Strathclyde Students’ Union, a member of Strathclyde University Court, becoming a member of the New York Times Generation Climate, and establishing Songplistic to increase the accessibility of making music for all. They regularly speak at various conferences on topics such as business, society, and climate change, bringing their unique experiences and perspectives as a young, disabled, non-binary individual.
Kayla aspires to see a world of social and environmental justice for all, and has committed themselves to doing as much as possible to achieve this.
Carolyn Wilson-Smith: Vice Convener
Carolyn has worked in the public and private sectors, 23 years with Barclays Bank and 12 years in public sector with a Local Authority and now the NHS.
Her areas of expertise include human resource development, organisational development, project management, consultation and engagement.
Carolyn has also supported the voluntary sector, having previously spent many years as Chairman of Directors for Employability Orkney.
She was Games Maker at the London 2012 Olympics, providing support and assistance to other Games Maker volunteers, and is currently an adult volunteer with Police Scotland Youth Volunteers, the fastest growing youth organisation in the UK.
Carolyn has a strong sense of fairness and equality.
Dorothy grew up in Northern Ireland during the years described as the ‘Troubles’ and believes her intense commitment and passion for equity and fairness grew from these experiences.
Kenny has been mainly employed in various management structures at different levels including site manager on a busy pharmaceutical site. Whilst employed as site manager Kenny had an accident at work leading him to suffer major damage to his lower back. This caused him to require four operations to attempt to repair the damage.
Unfortunately, these were not all successful and as a result Kenny now lives with the pain. Further to this he has also developed other health difficulties. Kenny uses a power chair to get around. Having been an able-bodied man and hands on dad this major change in his life was difficult for both him and his family with which to come to terms.
Kenny has since took up various volunteering roles including chairing The Three Towns Disability Forum for seven years and chairing North Ayrshire Carers Forum for six and a half years. Through these volunteering roles, Kenny was keen to pursue a career in public involvement. He has since retrained and with the continued support of his wife has took up employment with East Ayrshire Community Health Partnership in 2005 as a Public Partnership Forum Coordinator when his role was to build a Public Partnership Forum for East Ayrshire.
Kenny can bring vast experience to the role as non-executive Director with Disability and Equality Scotland. His life experience as an able-bodied person and as a disabled person. He genuinely empathizes with others who are faced with the same difficulties of becoming disabled. He also brings his managerial experience to the organisation.
Kenny’s true wish is for everyone, no matter their ability, race or religion to be treated fairly and equally and that society understand that it is the environment that disables people on many occasions and that real effort is required from everyone to make this a fairer, more equal world for us all to live in and enjoy.
Linda’s career background is mainly in NHS Scotland, initially as a psychiatric and general nurse before moving into Para-medicine with the Scottish Ambulance Service. After 13 years as a frontline paramedic in Glasgow, Linda moved into management, holding various senior management positions within the ambulance service for a further 15 years. She was heavily involved in Accident and Emergency ambulance service provision in various areas in Scotland and led on the previous Patient Transport Service Redesign Strategy. Linda is the recipient of two queen’s medals. One for “Long Service and Good Conduct – Emergency Duties” and the second for “Dedication to the NHS”.
Linda took early medical retirement after several surgeries for a spinal cord injury at L3/4/5 and S1. During her rehabilitation Linda received support from Spinal Injuries Scotland and got involved to help others living with a spinal cord injury. She was previously the Chair of Spinal Injuries Scotland and continues to be an ambassador for the organisation.
Linda is involved in Children’s’ Hearings Scotland and is also a qualified counsellor.
She is the National Convener for Mobility and Access Committee for Scotland.
Linda has a passion for equality and doing the right thing and strives through her work and volunteering to bring about transformational changes that will assist everyone to lead their lives as they chose.
Linda has a Master’s in Business Administration and brings to the role experience and qualifications in Business and Operational Management, Service Delivery, Corporate Governance, Strategy Planning and Development, Risk Management, Change Management, Team Building and Leadership and Organisational Planning utilising project methodologies.
Marie has been blind since birth and was brought up on the Isle of Mull and attended the Royal Blind School in Edinburgh. She trained as a physiotherapist at the RNIB school of physiotherapy in London, and qualified in 1972.
Marie has enjoyed an interesting and varied career. In 1976, Marie was selected for the British paralympic team to compete in the Paralympics in Canada. Fantastic coaching and tremendous support from family and close friends allowed her to reach the podium.
From 1997 until her retirement in 2012, she was Head Physiotherapist in Oban and North Argyll which included some of the inner Hebridean islands.
Marie continues to maintain fitness and fun with swimming, walking, horse riding, as well as enjoying listening to classical music and participating in choral singing. She also enjoys meeting people and participating in committee work, and very much appreciates spending time and socialising with family and friends.
Maureen joined Disability equality Scotland as a Trustee bringing with her a wide range of experience from the private, public and third sector, including her ambassadorial and Board experience as a Trustee with Spinal Injuries Scotland.
Maureen is passionate about the mission of Disability Equality Scotland, driven by her ‘lived experience’ of issues effecting disabled people both visible and hidden.
She enjoys working with people, building partnerships and relationships, and has an innovative approach to fundraising with an evidenced track record of success.
Maureen is a very sociable person who enjoys walking with friends and travelling with her family.
Lauren is a full-time Youth Worker based in Dumfries and Galloway. Diagnosed with Asperger’s and mental health conditions, Lauren is a passionate advocate for equality and inclusion. Following on from the Global Changemakers Summit 2018, Lauren set up Invisible Life – a personal blog sharing her experiences of living with Asperger’s, in the hope of educating others and providing insight into her day-to-day challenges. During COVID-19, Lauren set up Handprints of Hope, a social movement aimed at providing friendship and positivity during times of uncertainty for disabled people who would find this time particularly challenging. Lauren is looking forward to being part of the board and continuing to advocate for young disabled people.
Rhianne is a 22-year-old Creative Writing, Journalism and English literature Graduate. She has worked on projects such as Thistle Assistance and more. Creative, passionate and an advocate, Rhianne continues to work for accessibility and inclusion rights for disabled people across Scotland.
Scott’s background in supporting communities is deeply rooted in his roles in the public and third sector. As manager for Disability Information Scotland, an organisation supporting disabled people, Scott is aware of the challenges experienced by disabled people, their families and carers and constantly strives to break down the barriers that hinder the opportunities of disabled people in our society.
Scott’s career in local government carried him through many service areas, however, it was his experience as an operational manager in service support, planning, project management and financial management that allowed him to flourish in the areas he supported. As a member of the divisional management teams in both Revenues & Housing Management and Adult Social Care and through his work on the local authority’s risk management and divisional charging policy groups, Scott has extensive experience and developed a range of skills that he can bring to Disability Equality Scotland.
- Service planning and performance management of large staff groups
- Supporting on budgetary and staffing matters
- Ensuring strong financial governance working closely with auditors, accountants and regulators to mitigate risks
- Delivering organisational change through work on business service review and management review groups
- Implementing and embedding service wide initiatives, including the Scottish Public-Sector Ombudsman’s model complaints process
- Project managed the procurement and delivery of business-critical systems into the local authority including Council Tax, Housing Benefit, Sundry Debt, Cash receipting systems and document management and workflow systems
As an experienced leader and understanding of the challenges experienced by disable people in our communities, Scott is very much looking forward to supporting Disability Equality Scotland in delivering our vision of a better life for disabled people.