NDA 2014 – Voices Where Heard

Olley Edwards copyTo be shortlisted for the 2014 National Diversity Awards is a spectacular honour. I really did not let myself think for one second that I would be shortlisted down to last 5 in Disability role model from 21k nominations, I recall finding out via social media and friends saying well done, but it was the first I knew about it. I obviously check my notifications more often than my emails as sure enough when I checked emails I had the one I thought would never arrive, that I had been shortlisted. I rang my mother and jumped around rather like a salamander on hot coals for about an hour.

Winning the award itself did not occur, and I am sure I speak on behalf of all the shortlisted nominees , taking home the NDA itself was a secondary thought, the actual gift and award we all felt that evening, and still now is that the awareness of the cause we have been working tirelessly to promote and the people who we are trying so utterly hard to give a voice to, was ,heard. That for me was the real award.

I still work to raise awareness of females on the Autistic spectrum and to enable them to be recognised , supported and safeguarded. I have a new film in post production to be finished early 2015 that follows my own, late,adult diagnosis of Aspergers Syndrome.

Autism women Matter advocacy group were invited  to the United Nations were I gave a speech about Autistic girls and women and we have also just returned from Marrakesh World human rights forum just a few weeks ago .

I am now one of the panel members on the advisory board of Cambridge universitys autism and motherhood research.

Id like to thank the NDAs for all they do for all change and diversity in the UK, so proud to have been a small part of it.