woman with cap
Activist, researcher, mother, cook, gardener, coordinator

Portfolio working/career

Portfolio working is when an individual has multi strands rather than just one strand to their career. I rather suspect I am Jill  of all trades and mistress of none but I negotiate between different roles and I enjoy learning new skills. I enjoy doing social media, networking and coordinating as well.

It also suits me as a disabled woman juggling energy, capacity and support.

I found this to be good advice to frame questions on what I do

“Don’t ask ‘what do you do?’ Do ask ‘what are you up to at the moment?'”

Disability Equality advisor

I have had more than ten year’s experience in disability equality – when it was DDA (Disability Discrimination Act) before the Equality Act 2010.

Started back in 2006 on my return from Strasbourg, I was part of Equality 2025, the only cross party advisory network to Westminster government on disability equality.

I worked with Disability Awareness in Action ,  an international information service on disability issues. I believe in working on the intersections of equality and across protected characteristics on discrimination – gender, sexual orientation, race, faith, disability and age. I believe in working towards universal design, on access for events, disability access audits and meeing requirements under the Equality Act 2010. I have also given DET workshops.

Emerging creative practitioner

I have a project of making a digital quilt. Watch this space.

Social entrepreneur

Sisters of Frida CIC is an experimental collective of disabled women. We want a new way of sharing experiences, mutual support and relationships with different networks.

website: Sisofrida.org

Culture Access CIC  is about supporting access, bringing an inclusive edge intersectionally

website: cultureaccess.co.uk

Content editor

My graduate and postgrad degrees are both in English Literature and Information Studies (UT, Austin). I have the writing and editing skills, with an understanding of the special requirements of writing for the Web, such as the use of keywords, hyperlinks, navigation and the importance of brevity. I pay attention to detail and have good organizational skills to collate material from multiple sources and produce web content within tight deadlines.


Research covers a great deal of ‘stuff’. I think it is not just web search but more…I have a Postgraduate Certificate in Research Practice.




twitter @e_lisney


This website is an amalgation of things that happen in my life – thoughts, memories, meals and life in general.

I had the honour of being a torchbearer in 2012 – this is what I write then and I think this blog summarises what I am about – if it isnt too pompous!

with mum in 2012 and torch
with mum in 2012

Charlotte of the Women’s Resource Centre asked me to write a blog about being a torch bearer for this year’s Olympics 2012. What does it mean to me? To be honest, I am not sure. It’s a great honour and I never expected to be chosen.

At the moment I am too busy to think about the event itself, but I think I can say I am curious by the fact that my nominee proclaimed me to be ‘humble and unassuming’, luckily she didnt say quiet. I do what I do because I am fired up by other people and a passion to highlight social injustice – such as domestic violence faced by disabled women and how it is more difficult for us to deal with it with the extra barriers and impairments with support needs. I spoke about this with my good friend, Michelle Daley at the Million Women Rise March in 2010 at Trafalgar Sq and as a member of the CEDAW working group at the Women’s Resource Centre.

It seems to me that it’s more important that I would be carrying the torch for honouring the organisations I am involved in locally and nationally. To represent disabled people/women play a part in the achievements of all that the Olympics stand for. According to my social networks at present, the Olympics is now morphed into a different event altogether as it looms closer with all the security measures and financial costs coming to light.

chinese calligraphy family name 'Tao'
chinese calligraphy family name ‘Tao’/ ‘Thoe’

I think a part of me want to celebrate the incongruity of me, an emigrant of immigrant parents, being a torch bearer here in the UK. My parents do not understand any of the campaigning work I do, but they know what the Olympics stand for. They are proud of me, their disabled daughter. And I am glad that I can give them that by doing this. I was never able to attend PE lessons when I was at school. Though I am not a Paralympian, I still can be a part of it somehow.

I’ve just had a little discussion tonight and a small throw away remark of not going for tokenism caught me on the quick. In everything I do, I am scrupulous about being inclusive and sometimes it means that you don’t belong truly to any specific group entirely. I put this question to the panel at the NUJ Black Members Council AGM last weekend: how do you interweave the different equality strands when they are present in your identity? It is difficult to present the complexity in having multiple identities. How do you represent each identity and identify yourself as such without losing the other? As a BME disabled woman, I want to carry the flame for the diversity in me.

I was told that being a torch bearer is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. I hope my being one here in Coventry will enable disabled BME women to feel included in this event!

photo with background of cops and london buses
copyright Pete Riches