Transforming Leadership – Access All Areas

Transforming Leadership

Programme Summary

Transforming Leadership is a programme and coaching culture for emerging learning disabled leaders, the first of its kind and one that we hope will be the first of many similar programmes.

The programme sees nine learning disabled leaders employed in positions across all aspects of theatre making including becoming theatre directors, being the voice of Access All Areas’ social media platforms and co-chairs of its trustee board. Meet the leaders below.

Transforming Leadership is a force for positive change.

There are currently no bespoke leadership development programmes for learning disabled practitioners and little shared understanding of how to create environments in which potential leaders can thrive. So we aim to change that! and create an arts and culture sector that expects and encourages learning disabled people to take up executive roles.

Programme Aims

Through the Transforming Leadership programme we will:

  • Radically transform the leadership potential and presence of learning disabled arts leaders
  • Develop sector-wide infrastructure and a demonstrable legacy for learning disabled leadership
  • Upskill existing executive leadership across the arts, improving organisational accessibility

Meet the Leaders


We have brought together a core group of industry-leading professionals to ensure robust and expert delivery and oversight at all stages of the Transforming Leadership programme.

We will work closely with leadership coach Sarah Pickthall and Disability Arts Online; drawing on their respective experience in leadership and coaching and as a leading voice in disability arts. Sarah will develop a coaching programme for all leaders and their support mentors.

Dr Lucy Burke of Manchester Met University is an expert in co-working and co-evaluation methodologies of Learning Disabled-led work. Working with her we will ensure our evaluation process of the programme is uniquely accessible and peer reviewed.