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Two young women who are wheelchair user's sitting outside on the grass with tent like structures behind

Kristina Veasey Our View Core Group and Suzanne Bull Our View Project Person at a Blue Touch Paper Carnival event

Featured Ambassador

Usually in this section we feature one high profile person who has a connection to Accentuate and is supportive of the programme.  However, this time we thought we would do something a bit different and give you a brief snap-shot of all our Core Group members as they very much play an ambassadorial role for Accentuate.
Kristina Veasey is a freelance equality consultant and former international wheelchair basketball athlete who represented Great Britain at the Sydney and Athens Paralympics. Kristina was commissioned by Tourism South East to create a toolkit on best practice for involving disabled people in access audits, which she launched at the recent Accentuate event at the Houses or Parliament. Kristina is very keen on making links with Accentuate projects on the ground, and recently attended the Blue Touchpaper Carnival at Horsham with her 3 year old daughter.

“The wonderful thing about Accentuate is that it covers so many aspects of culture, sport and art. I am a bit of a do-er and like to get stuck in and hands-on to share the penny-dropping moments, the realisation of empowerment and self-belief, and to be a part of the enjoyment and creativity of it all.”

Colin Hambrook is an artist and the editor of Dada-News at Colin has worked at the heart of the disability arts community over the past 17 years and has been engaged with the survivor movement since the mid-1980s. Colin has used his writing and editorial skills on behalf of Accentuate, profiling events on the DAO website. Colin recently spent a day at the Driving Inspiration event at Mandeville school. Driving Inspiration sent disabled artists and athletes to work with students in 14 schools across the South East over the last year. The event celebrated the student’s achievements and was an opportunity to share their work and try out new activities. Colin, through DAO created a platform for the young people to blog and share their experiences of the day and the project as a whole.

“Much of the work I advocate is dedicated to using art to get the message out there, about the barriers we face, as disabled people. We need to change the landscape and break down the ‘us and them’ attitude towards disability by creating more inclusion in general. Accentuate is making a shift in perceptions”

Jon Adams is artist in residence at the University of Portsmouth and the official Accentuate Geologist. In the last 6 years, Jon has lived his ‘artist dream’ self-defining as an ‘outsider’ artist. For Accentuate, he is currently working on an ambitious 2-year creative research project called ‘Look About’. Utilising his training as a geologist and his inquiring mind as an artist, Jon is exploring and mapping the faults and strata present within Accentuate and the wider Cultural Olympiad in the South East and measuring any cultural tectonic shifts in attitudes to deaf and disabled artists’ work. Jon recently gave a lecture at ArtSway, where he presented images and sound works created so far. Look About will form an interactive multi-media work ‘Look About: Transmission’ which will travel to various venues in the South East of England.

“Look About it isn’t a passive commission, is also a tool for influence- a tool for change and shift. Accentuate’s legacy and the shoots of what might happen in the future are starting to emerge. Accentuate is leading the way in including people with hidden disabilities’

Sarah Playforth is an access, diversity and equality consultant and trainer
specialising in disability equality, with over 30 years experience in the statutory and independent sectors. Sarah is also a Lay Member for Employment Tribunals and has a driving passion for fairness and equality for all. Sarah has been working closely with Creative Landscapes to advise them on making Heritage Open day events accessible to the Deaf community. Creative Landscapes face a stiff challenge this year, to provide accessible events within an ambitious programme, whilst relying solely on volunteers and a very limited access budget. Being able to access Sarah’s knowledge, contacts and experience through Our View has been invaluable in informing their decision making process.

‘Working with Creative Landscapes, I was able to influence thinking and future planning to ensure marketing and access are both considered when trying to engage the Deaf community. Being able to influence projects within Accentuate, and promote Accentuate at external events such as the Disability Staff Forum conference for the Sussex Partnership NHS trust is a key element of my role as an Our View Core Group Member.’

Jamie Beddard  is an actor, writer and director. Previously he was the Associate Director of Graeae Theatre Company and his TV acting credits include Skalligrigg and theatre credits include Carrie’s War. Jamie was instrumental in shaping the recent Our View Art and Sport publication and helped launch it at the Accentuate event at the Houses of Parliament. Whilst theatre is Jamie’s art of choice, he is also an avid Ipswich Town Football supporter, who he affectionately refers to as ‘his sporting albatross’. Jamie has written several thought provoking blogs about art and sport for Our View, which can be read at:

“Accentuate and Our View creates space to break new ground in how disabled people are presented and represented; this couldn’t be more timely. With the impending arrival of the Olympics and Paralympics, disabled people will be at the mercy of opinion-formers and mass media. It is great to be able to take advantage of the platform created by Accentuate to explore the shifts that our communities must deal with.”

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