World Braille Day is on 4 January 2022, with that in mind we have chosen Amy Kavanagh as our Inspirational Diversity Champion of the month.
Amy is a blind activist and freelance disability consultant who uses social media to share her experiences as a low vision Londoner.
She advocates through writing, policy influencing and public speaking. She is engaged with a variety of disability issues ranging from accessible gaming, disability hate crime, digital inclusion, public transport and disabled women’s rights.
In 2018 Amy started the #JustAskDontGrab hashtag, a now globally recognised campaign which raises awareness of the experiences of unwanted touching which many disabled people experience when navigating life in public. Over the last year, #JustAskDontGrab has also become a focal point for disabled women to share their experiences of sexual harassment and assault. Amy continues to campaign for disabled people to have their consent and boundaries respected.
When COVID-19 put the country into lockdown, Amy established The Staying Inn as an online space for disabled people feeling isolated during the pandemic. The pub has grown to a community of more than 2500 disabled and non-disabled people who enjoy events including quizzes, craft clubs, activist interviews and skills workshops. The Staying Inn has become a model for providing online accessible events and now delivers digital inclusion training for individuals and businesses.
In November 2020, Amy was partnered with Guide Dog Ava. This golden retriever diva has supported Amy to rebuild her confidence and embrace her independence after a difficult year. Amy hopes to continue building communities and spaces for disabled people to share their lived experience and campaign for a more inclusive world.
In 2021 Amy came fourth in The Disability Power 100 list.
To find out more about Amy see here https://amykavanagh.co.uk/
To find out more about the Staying Inn see here https://www.thestayinginn.org.uk/ To find out more about World Braille Day see here https://brailleworks.com/what-is-world-braille-day/