12 July 2017

Celebrating Deaf and disabled women creating change: #IAmEmbolden launches nominations

Disability Wales is looking for Embolden Ambassadors – Deaf or disabled women in Wales who are breaking stereotypes, achieving great things and creating positive change.

In the year running up to the centenary celebrations in March 2018 of women obtaining the vote, DW, with funding from Spirit of 2012 and the Fawcett Society, is highlighting the achievements of Welsh disabled women, now and in history. These stories and accompanying images will be used to create a campaign aimed at challenging myths and stereotypes about disability and showcasing our amazing women role models.

Embolden: Spirit of Disabled Women is a vision to change negative perceptions of disabled people by: sharing stories about the achievements of disabled women in Wales; and provoking conversations that challenge attitudes about disability. The nomination categories are:

  • Community activist
  • Career success
  • Contribution to the arts
  • Sports excellence
  • Educational achievements
  • Amazing in any other way


  • Historical

Download: Embolden nomination form in English

DW is also collecting nominations for women in recent or distant history who have made a contribution towards disability rights or are allies of disabled women.

Rhian Davies, Disability Wales Chief Executive, said:

Embolden is such an exciting initiative: Deaf and disabled women are too often invisible and this is a wonderful opportunity to share their achievements and really challenge people’s perceptions and expectations We look forward to receiving nominations from across Wales and all communities.”

Fawcett Society Chief Executive Sam Smethers stated:

“It is vital that disabled women’s stories are told and that their voices are heard. That’s why Fawcett is delighted to be supporting Disability Wales’ Embolden project. Shattering the stereotypes that society holds about disabled women is vital to building a better society for us all.”

Download: Embolden nomination form English

The closing date is 28th August 2017.

Nominations will be shared on DW’s website and the shortlist of women will be announced in September 2017. A celebration event in March 2018 will present the winners with their title and award.

Editors’ notes

For more information and to arrange interviews with the women represented in our case studies please contact:

[email protected] or [email protected]

029 2088 7325

Press case studies

Tina Evans (www.stayafloatfaer.wordpress.com)

“Life doesn’t come with a remote. Get up and change it yourself!”

Welsh speaker, 32 year old Tina Evans hails from Gwendraeth Valley, West Wales. Diagnosed with Friedreich’s Ataxia at 16, Tina pushed the diagnosis to the side and continued with life on her own terms. At Aberystwyth University the physical impact of Ataxia became more obvious but Tina’s resolution to remain positive and get the most out of life drove her forward. Using her wheelchair as a tool for independence rather than a limitation, she constantly challenges expectations and norms about what a wheelchair user can do with their life.

Her work has taken her from the BBC to Disability Wales and now to Hywel Dda Health Board but Tina’s passion for the outdoors and her self-confessed status as an adrenaline junkie demonstrates her real calling in life.  A powerful advocate for accessible sports and leisure opportunities, Tina has done surfing, water skiing, rock climbing and skiing and has completed the Swansea 10k on her handcycle.

Sian Preddy – Womenspire Champion of Champions 2017


Siân is currently studying to become a midwife at the University of South Wales and will become the only deaf midwife in Wales. Siân is not just bringing her skills to the women she will support as they birth their babies; she is also injecting her passion for deaf awareness into every academic and clinical setting she enters, supporting others to learn and develop by building a more equal playing field for many women to follow. After receiving many knock backs, Siân is now in her second year of study and is inspiring others around her as well as other women and girls who may be in a similar position. As a BSL user, Siân is also in a unique position to support her patients who may not have been able to access this support previously.

Rosie Moriarty-Simmons OBE (www.rms-consultancy.co.uk)

Artist, broadcaster, and business owner Rosie is the author of Thirteen Fingers and Two Toes, her autobiographical account of life with Thalidomide impairments. Rosie’s work strives to promote disability equality and the social model of disability through her consultancy work and speaking engagements. More importantly, her day to day demonstration of tackling barriers and challenging stereotypes through the way she lives and works helps to achieve change both locally and nationally.

About Disability Wales 

Disability Wales is the national association of disabled people’s organisations in Wales championing the rights, equality and independence of all disabled people.



About Spirit of Women Changemakers

Disability Wales is amongst seven recipients awarded grants of £8,000 to £15,000 to work in communities across the UK. Funding charity Spirit of 2012 (Spirit) created the Changemakers programme to mark and celebrate the centenary of the iconic moment in 1918 when women first won the right to vote.  The Fawcett Society, the UK’s leading membership charity campaigning for gender equality and women’s rights, delivers the grants programme in partnership with business services company BE Group.

About the Fawcett Society 

The Fawcett Society is the UK’s leading charity campaigning for gender equality and women’s rights. For 150 years, our aim has been to help bring about a society where the gender you are does not limit the life chances you have.



About Spirit of 2012 

Spirit of 2012 is a funding charity, established with a £47m endowment from the Big Lottery Fund.  We fund partners across the UK that provide opportunities in sports, physical activity, arts and culture, volunteering and social action. Spirit was founded to continue and recreate the spirit of pride, positivity and social connectedness that people experienced during the London 2012 Games.  We invest to create good outcomes for people and communities.



Download: Embolden nomination form English