Disability Awareness Day is on 17 July and with that in mind we have chosen Francesca Martinez as our Inspirational Diversity Champion of the month.
Francesca is a comedian and disability campaigner. As a comedian, she has toured internationally, including sell-out runs at the Edinburgh Festival, the Melbourne Comedy Festival and the Just For Laughs Festival in Montreal.
As a campaigner, she spent a year getting the 100,000 signatures required to trigger a debate in Parliament on welfare reform and its effect on disabled people. Using her award-winning humour, Francesca, who has cerebral palsy, talks passionately about facing fear, the profound power of positive thinking, gaining the right perspective and questioning society’s values in her critically acclaimed memoir, What the **** is Normal?!, which was nominated for The Bread and Roses Radical Publishing Award.
As a youngster she was a regular in the BBC children’s drama Grange Hill, becoming one of the first disabled actors to have a significant role on a popular TV programme. In November 2016, she was the guest curator at Sheffield’s Off The Shelf Festival of Words, which featured a day of inspirational talks and events. She also teamed up with Network Rail to launch a new campaign to improve disabled passengers’ experiences of travelling by rail. Another recent highlight for was supporting Frankie Boyle on tour.
For International Women’s Day Able Magazine published their top 10 most influential women with a disability which included Francesca. She is patron of a number of charity including the Misfits Theatre Company.
To find out more about Francesca see here https://www.francescamartinez.com/bio
To find out more about Disability Awareness Day see here