Equipping and inspiring leaders
RADAR is interested in equipping people living with Ill health, Injury or Disability (IID) to be leaders and influencers in public life, and to take up leadership positions in the public, private and third (voluntary) sectors. That is what our Empowerment and Leadership programme is all about. RADAR won funding in 2009 to deliver a series of leadership events for disabled people, following on from our work with Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) and the Disability Rights Commission (DRC).
A series of four Leadership Development Days are scheduled to run between September and December 2010, offering a blend of skills training and personal development work. They will be open to anyone experiencing Ill health, Injury or Disability (IID) who has aspirations to become a leader and positively influence the world they are living and working in.
I attended the RADAR Leadership Development Day in Glasgow in November 2008, I already had some experience of leadership in school, and from taking part an expedition which saw myself and 9 other disabled young people trekked across the Andes but the RADAR Leadership gave the tools to advanced my aspirations further.
“Before RADAR’s Leadership course, I was lost. Although I had ideas/ambition on what I wanted to achieve, I didn’t know where to begin, and I felt young to be doing things that I wanted to aspire to. RADAR has made me more focussed and confident to achieve the goals I would like to fulfil. I’m now climbing ladders to wherever my career will take me in the future”.
Now two years on, I was delighted to be back sharing my leadership journey at the RADAR Leadership in Birmingham this year. It was fantastic to addressed 100 delegates from all walks of life who experienced Ill health, Injury or Disability (IID), black or minority ethnic backgrounds, people with learning difficulties, people with neuro-diversity conditions (e.g. Asperger Syndrome, a form of Autism) and people with mental health conditions.
My presentation looked at what I have achieved and what the quality of skills it takes to achieved these accomplishments. Furthermore, I talked about myself leadership journey, preconception of ability to achieve goals and times of going through unchartered waters. Throughout the years and while I am still learning all the time, it has been myself motivation, determination and more recently myself self leadership skills that has helped me possess the quality of leadership.
After the presentation, I stayed around to speak to delegates and on hand to offer advices about confidence, leadership advices etc. I met a few interesting delegates and one in particular caught my attention was a Down syndrome women, she thoroughly enjoyed the talk and asked how she could get involve in some of the ventures I do in her local area. Her case study caused my head to think that people with learning difficulties need assistance to nurture their confidence, more information available to parents and support workers about the different types activity involvements these people with learning disabilities could take part in.
They have the right to make choices about what to do and take part in. Its naturally for people to focus on what disabled can’t do however, we need to adopt in a change in attitude on focusing on what disabled can do as I find there are things that I would like to do but it looking at the picture/situation as a whole and it is about thinking out with these boxes and implementing a strategy to coping and participating in mainstream activities.
There is still a lot of unlocking potentials to be done but RADAR is a pilot form to make this happen.
The day was truly inspiring for me too, watch this space!