Scott Watkin, our Head of Engagement, has been has been named as one of the most influential people with a disability in the UK as part of The Power List 100 at a reception at The House of Lords.

The Shaw Trust Disability Power List 100 is an annual publication of the 100 most influential disabled people in the UK and in 2019, nearly 200 nominations were received for the 100 places.

In 2009, Scott’s lived experience as a campaigner with learning disabilities thrust him into the glare of the national press when he was appointed the government’s co-national director for learning disabilities, representing people with learning disabilities at the heart of policymaking and government.

Since 2013, Scott has been working for SeeAbility, first as an Eye Care and Vision Development Officer and now as our Head of Engagement, as part of our Leadership Team. Scott also co-chairs the Department of Health and Social Care’s Transforming Care Stakeholder Group, is an Ambassador for Health Education England and a board member of Learning Disability England.

In 2017, Scott won the Making a Difference award from the National Learning Disability and Autism Awards, and in 2018 he was awarded a British Empire Medal in the New Years Honours List. In 2019, his campaigning work as part of the SeeAbility team contributed to an NHS policy change, meaning a whole generation of children with learning disabilities will get the eye care they vitally need.

Scott now leads our engagement programme where he is supporting people with learning disabilities, autism and sight loss to become future leaders. He also works with policymakers and ministers to ensure people with learning disabilities are represented, respected and heard in healthcare, social care and education, as well as in government and the media.

Scott, who lives on the Isle of Wight, said:

I’m surprised but really excited and honoured to be included in the 2019 Disability Power List 100. My teacher told me I would never get a job, never live independently and never have a family. I have since broken down every one of these barriers and am living proof of what can be achieved with the right support. I will always work to make sure people with learning disabilities have a voice and can make a difference.

Lisa Hopkins, CEO of SeeAbility, said:

Congratulations to Scott for all he has achieved. He’s rightly been recognised for his outstanding commitment to improving the lives of people with learning disabilities and autism. All of us at SeeAbility are incredibly proud and fortunate to call Scott our colleague.

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The full Shaw Trust Disability Power List 100 can be found on www.disabilitypower100.com