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New report shines a light on disabled representation and inclusivity in voluntary sector leadership

Hidden Leaders: Disability leadership in civil society explores how charity leaders’ network ACEVO, and other senior leaders in the voluntary sector, can create a more disability inclusive approach to leadership. The report was commissioned by ACEVO to support its aim of creating a more disability inclusive staff team, board and membership.

Co-authored by disability activist Zara Todd and third sector researcher Ellie Munro, Hidden Leaders draws on new desk-based research conducted for this project, and ten in-depth interviews to provide recommendations for ACEVO, and other voluntary sector organisations that want to build more disability inclusive approaches to leadership.

The report includes sections on stigma and disclosure, the dynamics of disability in civil society, and learning from disabled leaders. The recommendations in the report are built around seven key building blocks for disability inclusion. These are:

  1. Knowledge and data
  2. Approach and ethos
  3. Access
  4. Policy and procedure
  5. Training, learning and development
  6. Representation
  7. Working at the intersections

There is also a specific set of recommendations focused on helping ACEVO to assess the accessibility and relevance of its offer to disabled leaders.

While the primary focus of the work was to support ACEVO’s commitment to creating a more disability inclusive organisation, there is learning within the report that could be applied to other voluntary sector organisations working towards the same objectives.

The recommendations are broken down into three sections based on what stage in its inclusion journey an organisation might be. These three sections are:

  1. Inclusive foundations
  2. Building good practice
  3. Leading the way.

Each section covers seven key building blocks for disability inclusion; knowledge and data; approach and ethos; access; policy and procedure; training, learning and development; representation and working at the intersections.

Read the report here.

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If you have any queries please email info@acevo.org.uk
or call 020 7014 4600.