Judges

The Scope Disability Equality Awards will be judged by an independent panel of people who have continually demonstrated their commitment to disability equality through their life and work. Our judging line-up includes TV stars, campaigners, social media influencers and journalists.

Some of our judges have been shortlisted for an Award. They will not be judging the categories they have been nominated in. All judges have declared where they may have a conflict of interest to keep the process open and fair.

Adam Pearson

Adam Pearson

Will be judging the following award categories:
Adam Pearson is an award-winning disability rights campaigner, broadcaster, actor and public speaker.

In addition to presenting critically-acclaimed documentaries for the BBC, Adam starred in the BAFTA-nominated film, Under The Skin, with Scarlett Johansson. His other credits include Celebrity Masterchef, Celebrity Mastermind and Pointless Celebrities.

He has previously been named on The Shaw Trust’ Disability Power 100 List, and was nominated as UK Documentary Presenter of the Year at the 2016 Grierson Awards.

Angel Sinclair

Angel Sinclair

Will be judging the following award categories:
Angel Sinclair was born in East London of West Indian heritage. She is a mother of four and grandmother of eight.

Angel founded Models of Diversity (MoD) after appearing on Gok’s Miss Naked Beauty in 2008. She was struck by the great variety of beautiful women participating in the event and how that contrasted with the narrow range we see in the fashion industry.

She became determined to promote using models that reflect the diversity in society, in race, shape, age and ability.

MoD run events showcasing models from a spectrum you’d never normally see. These include Curves in Couture (2011), Catwalk4Change (2013), as well as shows at: Old Spitalfields Market, Shepherds Bush Market and for London Fashion Week at Freemasons’ Hall, London.

MoD also run workshops, some dedicated to models with disabilities.

2023 is MoD’s fifteenth year anniversary with Angel at the helm.

She has no plans to stop!

Anoushé Husain

Image of Anoushe Husain

Anoushé Husain

Will be judging the following award categories:
Anoushé is a champion for all those experiencing barriers and self-limiting beliefs.

Anoushé was born missing her right arm below the elbow and lives with multiple health conditions. As a cancer survivor, a Muslim and coming from an ethnic minority, Anoushé has never let what society thinks she should do dictate the direction of her life.

Anoushé candidly talks about her life, how she has remained resilient in the face of huge obstacles. In particular, Anoushé highlights the plight of those stigmatised by society in order to change the misconceptions around these groups. She teaches others to shed their self-limiting beliefs and empowers them to reach their potential.

A civil servant by day, Anoushé is a paraclimber in the UK and an ambassador for multiple charities. She is a Guinness World Record holder and has been in the Top 100 most influential people with a disability in 2019 and 2022.

Bethany Black

Bethany Black

Will be judging the following award categories:
Critically acclaimed stand-up Bethany Black is a stalwart of the scene and can be seen performing up and down the country, as “one of the UK circuit’s finest night-time raconteurs” (British Comedy Guide).

Also an applauded writer and actor, you may recognise Bethany from her roles in Cucumber, Banana, Tofu (C4), No Offense (C4) and Doctor Who (BBC). Winner of the Joe.co.uk comedy award 2020. 

Bethany’s recent tour show Always Bet on Beth gained praise across the board and was voted Best New Show 2023 at Leicester Comedy Festival. Praise for previous work: “A great comedy mind” (British Comedy Guide Recommended). “I went for an hour laughing at every other word” ***** The LGBT Arts Review. “You’re onto a winner with Bethany.” **** Funny Women. **** Fest Mag.

Charli Clement

Charli Clement

Will be judging the following award categories:
Charli Clement (she/they) is an activist, writer, speaker and Lived Experience Expert, discussing disability, neurodivergence, queerness and how these identities and topics combine.  

As a proud autistic, ADHD, dyspraxic & chronically ill person, they deliver training and talks to a variety of sectors and are a content creator on Instagram, TikTok and LinkedIn. Charli also has bylines in media outlets including the Metro, Independent, VICE, Digital Spy, and the Unwritten. 

Alongside this, Charli works in the NHS & third sector organisations on improving psychiatric care and human rights for autistic people, with a particular focus on sensory needs & admission avoidance after their own inpatient admission when they were a teenager. 

Their first book, All Tangled Up in Autism & Chronic Illness, is being published December 21st 2023 by Jessica Kingsley Publishers. They were previously shortlisted for Young Campaigner at the inaugural Scope Awards in 2022.  

Dan Edge

Dan Edge

Will be judging the following award categories:
Dan Edge is a multi-disciplinary performer and activist.

Dan has worked in theatre, film, and TV, as well as appearing in the opening ceremony of the 2012 Paralympic Games performing aerial circus.

Through his activism, Access Coordinator, trade unionist, and consultancy work, he supports and champions Deaf and Disabled and Neurodivergent talent and quality representation. Working across the arts with companies such as Disney, Netflix the BBC, and Sesame Street. While also campaigning for Equality and Equity when it comes to Disabled people’s rights and employment conditions.

Dr Shani Dhanda (Head Judge)

Dr Shani Dhanda (Head Judge)

Will be judging the following award categories:
A Disability Inclusion & Accessibility Specialist, Social Entrepreneur and Broadcaster, Shani is one of the UK’s most influential disabled people.

As a South Asian woman who experiences disability, Shani has taken the change she wants to create in the world into her own hands. She is the founder of Diversability, the Asian Woman Festival and the Asian Disability Network.  

As a subject matter expert, she holds 8 executive and advisory roles and is an ambassador for 5 national disability organisations.  

Shani is a presenter on Rip off Britain, a guest panellist on Loose Women and contributes to many other daytime and news programmes.

Having spoken at over 250 conferences and companies worldwide, including the United Nations, World Expos, and TEDx, Shani has shared stages with Michelle Obama and Hilary Clinton.  

Shani has been recognised with over 25 honours and awards for her inclusion and activism work. 

Ekow Otoo

Ekow Otoo

Will be judging the following award categories:
Actor/model/spoken-word artist Ekow Otoo had aspirations to be a philosophy lecturer but when multiple sclerosis changed his life he dove into the creative arts.

He has always been a poet, writing about the human experience and the weight of emotions that are attached to it. Through this he found his love for acting as it allows him to tell such stories in so many different ways. Focusing mainly on TV and film dramas and commercials, he aims to tell all stories that make you cry, scream, and laugh.

Fats Timbo

Fats Timbo

Will be judging the following award categories:
Fats Timbo is a creator, author, comedian and educator who has risen to prominence with her snappy sketches, quick wit and advocacy. Born with Achondroplasia, Fats entered a world which often doesn’t accept those who fall outside of its expectations.

She pulls no punches in her comedy, confidently and shamelessly finding fun in stories of her own life and the world around her. Fats uses her platform to educate people on disability, and open conversations about the many shapes that human bodies and minds can take. She has over 2.9m followers on her social channels, and a growing presence on our television screens: Celebrity Gogglebox, Don’t Look Down (Channel 4), Laugh Lessons (BBC).

This year she released her first book ‘Main Character Energy: Ten Commandments For Living Life Fearlessly’, in which she shares how she came to love her body for people who struggle with a fear of their own difference.

Isaac Harvey MBE

Isaac Harvey MBE

Will be judging the following award categories:
Award-winning vlogger, all-round adrenalin junkie and President of Wheels and Wheelchairs, Isaac Harvey MBE was born with limb-pelvic hypoplasia which prevented his limbs from growing. This disability has not stopped him from skiing, skydiving, tall ship sailing and much more.

For the past ten years he has used his feet to operate his computer – to edit videos, answer emails and share his lived experience with a huge number of people. This has led him and collaborating with other advocates and getting opportunities in helping share the importance of inclusion in different spaces.

From modelling in London Fashion Week wearing adaptive clothing, to being able to use his creativity in helping create engaging videos for different organisations, Isaac feels that he has a voice in the community and continues to promote inclusion. And it has been recognised – in 2023 Isaac was made an MBE in the King’s New Year’s honours list.

Jordan Hogg

Jordan Hogg

Will be judging the following award categories:
Jordan Hogg is a BAFTA-winning drama director.

As one of the participants of the BAFTA Breakthrough programme in 2020, he has directed many prime-time features. These include the Channel 4 drama Screw, two series of Ackley Bridge, and episodes of Death in Paradise.

Last year he directed a new BBC1 drama Ralph & Katie, which was the first drama to feature two learning-disabled lead actors.

Jordan Jarrett-Bryan

Jordan Jarrett-Bryan

Will be judging the following award categories:
Jordan Jarrett-Bryan is an award-winning journalist and broadcaster.

Having played wheelchair basketball for 20 years, he was recruited to the presenting team for the 2012, 2016, and 2020 Paralympic Games. He is the Sports Correspondent for Channel 4 News, and hosts a weekly talkSPORT show, drawing on his experience as a journalist, editor, and radio DJ.

In 2018, Jordan started a YouTube channel Blakademik, aimed to elevate and celebrate Black culture.

Lee Ridley

Lee Ridley

Will be judging the following award categories:
Lee Ridley is a stand-up comedian, and the first to use a communication device live on stage.

Performing as ‘Lost Voice Guy’, Lee won Britain’s Got Talent in 2018. He also won the BBC New Comedy Award in 2014.

He has performed all over the UK and appeared on Live at the Apollo and The Royal Variety Performance amongst others. He has also starred in and co-written four series of Ability for BBC Radio 4.

Lucy Webster

Lucy Webster

Will be judging the following award categories:
Lucy Webster is a journalist, author and disability advocate. She covers disability issues for major publications including the Guardian, the Times, the FT and others.

Her first book, The View From Down Here, is a memoir exploring how the dual forces of ableism and sexism shape disabled women’s lives, and is out now with DK Books. Beyond writing, Lucy uses public speaking and social media work to raise awareness of ableism. 

Mike Adams OBE

Mike Adams OBE

Will be judging the following award categories:
Mike Adams OBE is CEO of Purple.

Mike leads the development of products and services at Purple, supporting its work to ‘change the disability conversation’ with businesses and disabled people.

Having founded the Purple Tuesday initiative, he has worked to improve the customer experience for disabled people.

He was named in the Shaw Trust Power 100 List in 2022, and in 2012 he was awarded an OBE for his services to disability.

Nicolas Hamilton

Nicolas Hamilton

Will be judging the following award categories:
Born with Cerebral Palsy, which affects the movement of his leg muscles, Nicolas was initially a wheelchair user. He endured years of gruelling, painful training so that by the age of 17 he could walk completely unaided. A huge achievement in itself, but this was just the first part of his unwavering determination to become a professional racing driver.

In a notoriously competitive and tough sport, Nicolas has established himself as a potential future champion, an achievement in any context, but even more so for someone who was told as a child that he would never walk. As well as racing Nicolas is focused on sharing his inspirational story and his belief that your ambition is limited only by your attitude.

Richie Brave

Richie Brave

Will be judging the following award categories:
Richie Brave is a Presenter, Broadcaster & Writer hailing from South London. He is known for his hard-hitting interviews and honest social criticism, which challenges people to think and reflect on themselves. Aside from his media experience, he has amassed over a decade’s worth of work in the community and uses this to shape and create engaging dialogue and interviews. Richie is host of BBC 1Xtra’s “1Xtra Talks” exploring the lived experiences of Black people across the UK.

Richie has interviewed the likes of Whoopi Goldberg, Ryan Coogler, Angela Bassett, HER, Master P, Mr Eazi, Wale and many others. Through 2018/19 he regularly co-hosted the Sunday Morning show with Penny Smith on Talk Radio, exploring the tabloids, politics and debating current affairs. This versatility speaks to his ability to engage anyone.

Richie is also Head of Diversity and Inclusion for Hearst magazines.

Safaa Charif

Safaa Charif

Will be judging the following award categories:
Safaa Charif is a disability content creator and advocate. She realised from an early age that her visible disability was going to gain her attention and decided right then to turn a societal negative into a positive.

She uses her online platforms to showcase a humorous take on her life with a disability while addressing the intersection between disability and race. 

Saima Mohsin

Saima Mohsin

Will be judging the following award categories:
Sky News Presenter Saima Mohsin has worked for networks in the UK, US and Asia. She has been a familiar face on the BBC, ITV, PBS Newshour, Channel 4 and CNN. Saima has interviewed world leaders and celebrities. These include Hillary Clinton, Tony Blair, Tom Cruise, Imran Khan, Amitabh Bachchan and Ashwariya Rai.

As an International Correspondent she has covered some of the world’s biggest stories. This includes the shooting of Malala Yousafzai, capture and killing of Osama Bin Laden and Missing Plane MH370.

Saima was injured while on assignment for CNN in Jerusalem in 2014 and lives with an invisible disability. She made ITV’s first programme on hidden disabilities, featuring Scope, to raise awareness. This drew an audience of 2.8 million viewers!

Samantha Renke

Samantha Renke

Will be judging the following award categories:
Samantha Renke is broadcaster, speaker, writer and disability rights campaigner who was named as number 3 in The Shaw Trust Power 100 List of 2020.

Samantha is a columnist for the Metro and an experienced speaker having spoken at events for National Education Union, Houses of Parliament, British Red Cross, and British Retail Consortium.

Samantha is co-host of Motability Lifestyle podcast and has numerous television credits including Loose Women, Lorraine and Jeremy Vine on 5.

Samantha is an ambassador for Scope, Ferne Animal Sanctuary and Undressing Disability for Enhance The UK as well as a patron of Head2Head multi-sensory theatre company. Samantha was nominated as Campaigner of the Year in the 2019 European Diversity Awards and Celebrity of the Year in the 2020 National Diversity Awards.

Samantha’s debut book, You Are The Best Thing Since Sliced Bread, was published in July 2022 by Penguin Random House.

Sophie Butler

Sophie Butler

Will be judging the following award categories:
Sophie Butler, the 27-year-old Disabled & Queer Queen is a force to be reckoned with.

Sophie uses her Instagram account @sophjbutler as a platform to not only empower her audience of 129k followers, but also to educate the wider public, through her infographics and regular communication on subjects such as trolling, disability awareness and self-love.

Embracing her passion for creating change and awareness has led to Sophie being the first wheelchair user to appear on the cover of Cosmopolitan Magazine in the UK, winning Cosmo’s ‘Influencer of the Year’ award 2021. Alongside this, Sophie won the ‘Influencer’ award at the very first Scope Disability Awards in 2022!

Sophie has also just launched The Other Girl’s Club, an in-person club to bring people together who just love to be excited about things. Think, a book club, but for albums, movies, new releases, pop culture moments.

Sukhjeen Kaur

Sukhjeen Kaur

Will be judging the following award categories:
Sukhjeen Kaur, the Founder and CEO of Chronically Brown, is a passionate advocate for challenging the stigma surrounding disability within the South Asian community. Motivated by her personal experiences of extended family members not understanding or accepting her disabilities, Sukhjeen embarked on a mission to create change. Through Chronically Brown she strives to mitigate this stigma by offering a diverse range of services, including impactful campaigns, insightful workshops, engaging discussion groups, and a wealth of online resources. By breaking down barriers, stimulating conversations, and fostering understanding, Sukhjeen envisions a society where disabilities are embraced and celebrated.

Living with Ehlers-Danlos syndrome (EDS), Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), and Autism, Sukhjeen draws upon her own journey to combat the stereotyping of disability within South Asian communities. Through Chronically Brown, she aims to empower individuals by increasing their representation in the wider disability movement. Sukhjeen’s unwavering dedication and lived experiences serve as the driving force behind her impactful work, as she leads the way towards a more inclusive and accepting world.

Tom Jamison

Tom Jamison

Will be judging the following award categories:
For over 10 years, Tom has used his lived experience to be a proactive voice promoting disability equality. He is the editor of the disability lifestyle publication, Able and contributes regularly to other media outlets including, The i and BBC radio.

In 2019, Tom was recognised as a Shaw Trust, Disability Power 100 Influencer. He also acts as a judge and advisor for many industry awards and is a trustee for the charity, MS Together.

Variety D

Variety D

Will be judging the following award categories:
The first black, female, disabled comedian of her era, Variety has performed at Dave’s Disabled Comedians’ Showcase produced by UKTV & Phil McIntyre Entertainment. Her other credits include Sorry, I Didn’t Know (ITV), The Judi Love Show (BBC Radio London) and Two Birds In A Park (BBC Radio 4).

Victoria Jenkins

Victoria Jenkins

Will be judging the following award categories:
Victoria is a multi-award winning universal designer, disability advocate, speaker and writer. She has 16 years fashion industry experience as a garment technologist for high street and high-end brands.

She became disabled in her mid-20s which led to her founding Unhidden, a socially responsible universally designed fashion range, centred on adaptive design for the disabled and chronic sick community. Unhidden is the first universal fashion brand to become a member of the British Fashion Council.

In September 2023 Victoria was listed in British Vogue’s ‘The Vogue 25′ as well as Vogue Business’ 100 innovators list. She is the expert designer and co-host on Channel 4 show The Unique Boutique, her TedX talk is available on YouTube and she appeared on Dragons Den in February 2023. She is one of 3 judges for the V&A Innovate challenge in March 2024.