Celebrate Learning Disabilities & Autism News

It’s almost time to meet The Learning Disability and Autism Leaders 2021!

On 3rd December – International Day of Disabled Persons – the winners of the prestigious Learning Disability and Autism Leaders’ List 2021 will be announced to the nation.

The Leaders’ List is an annual award run by Dimensions, in partnership with Learning Disability England and VODG. This List celebrates the achievements of people with learning disabilities and autism and shares their stores across the country.

“When I won the award, I felt a sense of pride for everything that I had done and it gave me a much needed boost to continue helping others and thrive in my own individual way.” 2020 Leader, Emily Anne Morse.

After a special Coronavirus Leaders’ List last year, the 2021 List will celebrate an even wider variety of achievements across four diverse categories:

  • Working in Local Communities
  • Work and Education
  • Advocacy, Policy and Media
  • Sports, arts and entertainment

In summer, hundreds of people with a learning disability and/or autism entered or were nominated and everybody received a personalised certificate.

Our winning Leaders’ will get a trophy and VIP invite to our exciting online event on 3rd December, with special guests including…

Ken Bruce, BBC Radio 2 presenter

Ken’s son Murray won a place on the Dimensions Learning Disability and Autism Leaders’ List in 2019, and announced this achievement on the Jeremy Vine Show.

He joins as the event host and will introduce our 4 wonderful award presenters…

Ciara Lawrence, Mencap Big Plan Engagement Lead

Ciara is a person with a learning disability and is currently working for Mencap in the CEO Directorate Team and has worked for Mencap for 20 years.

Ciara talks to people with a learning disability to make sure they are included in Mencap’s Big plan.

She was a Dimensions Learning Disability and Autism Leaders’ List judge in 2019!

Dr Mark Brookes MBE

Mark works with Dimensions as an Advocacy Lead and has supported their hate crime campaign since launching it on BBC Breakfast 5 years ago.

He has since been awarded with an honorary doctorate for his work on hate crime and recently attended the ceremony to receive his MBE.

Mark was a Dimensions Learning Disability and Autism Leader in 2018!

Gary Bourlet

Gary has been a self-advocate for over 30 years.

He is a civil rights campaigner and has a vast amount of experience in working with the media; including appearances on Channel 4 and BBC Breakfast.

Gary brought the People First movement to England in the 1980s, and was the founder of People First England.

Gary was a Co-Founder of Learning Disability England, who are partners for the Leaders’ List.

Liam Bairstow

Liam was the first actor with Down’s Syndrome to land a role in Coronation Street. He is an actor and advocate, and speaks at schools, events and conferences.

Liam was a Dimensions Learning Disability and Autism Leader in 2019!


Meet the Leaders and share their stories on Friday 3rd December

  • Follow @DimensionsUK and tweet #LDALeadersList to celebrate our entrants and get more people excited for the List’s publication in December.
  • Email marketing@dimensions-uk.org or DM us on social media if you would like to request a ticket to the event.
  • Visit dimenssions-uk.org/leaderslist2021 to read their stories


Edel Harris





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