The Team

Meet The Celebrating Disability Team

Esi Hardy

Esi is the founder and owner of Celebrating Disability.  She founded the business in 2017 after a career in public services, social care and the charity sector.  In this time, all her roles were based around raising awareness of, enabling and advocating for the rights of disabled people.

Esi has had a diverse career; starting as a theatre actress followed by a brief stint as a psychodynamic counsellor and finally moving into training and public speaking.  Whilst the career path may seem diverse, one thing that has always remained has been the passion for advocating for the rights and inclusion of disabled people in every part of life.

Esi has cerebral palsy; a physical disability caused by lack of oxygen to the brain.  Referring to herself as a hybrid wheelchair user, Esi uses lived experience of disability and intersectionality as well as professional knowledge to highlight the disabling barriers facing disabled people interacting and engaging with organisations and businesses. As a result, this enables Celebrating Disability clients to implement strategies that empowers a diverse workforce truly inclusive of Disabled People.

Esi Hardy - Profile Picture
Esi Hardy - Managing Director

Strategic Partnerships With Associates

Disability awareness and inclusivity is never as easy as a “one size fits all” and nor should it be. Because disabled people are unique and diverse.

Working strategically with associates ensures that every client we work with have their specific business needs met. That way our clients can ensure they meet the needs of every disabled employee and customer they interact with.

Want to talk about how Celebrating Disability can support your organisation to develop disability awareness in the workplace?

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Ryan Compton

Ryan is the Director of Dialogue Training Academy as well as a qualified and experienced coach, mentor and mediator. Ryan provides a range of training services including disability awareness training.

Ryan is also the co-founder of the Disability Mediation Standards Committee, where he plays an instrumental role in ensuring mediation practices are inclusive and accessible for people with disabilities.

Between the ages of 6-28 Ryan had between 100-150 operations due to Glaucoma. He was registered blind at the age of 21. Ryan utilises his professional expertise in the world of equality, diversity and inclusion as well as lived experience in disability to support organisations in finding effective solutions for their employees and customers who have disabilities. Ryan is very passionate about supporting and empowering disabled people, and making sure their voices are heard.

He has also been a Samaritan since 2010, as an active listener, where he speaks with hundreds of people with a range of disabilities including mental health.

Ryan Compton - Profile Picture
Ryan Compton

Roland Chesters

Roland Chesters was born in the north of England to an English father and French mother and has lived most of his life in London after a somewhat rocky start in Paris. He graduated from the Royal Holloway College with a degree in Modern Languages way back in the last century, and after a variety of jobs in senior management in the private sector he joined the Foreign and Commonwealth Office as a language-testing specialist. Following a life-changing diagnosis of HIV and AIDS in 2006, he became a campaigner for disability rights. He subsequently enjoyed a number of different roles within the FCO as Diversity & Equality Officer and later Learning & Development Adviser, where he gained his L&D qualifications. There he was also elected Chair of the Disabled Staff Network and worked with the Civil Service Disability Network. He is now a self-employed Disability Development Consultant and has his own company, Luminate.

Roland is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, a Member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development and of the Chartered Institute of Management as well as the Institute of Training and Occupational Learning. He is a qualified Mediator and currently sits on the Standards for Disability Mediation Working Group of the College of Mediators.  He is also a Motivational Speaker and a member of the Professional Speaking Association. In 2017 he was awarded Best Personal & Professional Coaching Company - South England and Disability & Inclusion Consultant of the Year– Greater London by CV Magazine. Of the nearly 30,000 nominations in the 2019 National Diversity Awards, Roland was shortlisted as one of the eight finalists as a Role Model for Disability.

He is the author of ‘Ripples from the Edge of Life’, published in 2018. GScene said of the book None of us know how many heartbeats we have left; facing mortality is a culturally difficult thing. Ripples gives us clear clarion voice after voice which shows us, gently but insistently, there are many ways of successfully navigating horrific times, and surviving.”

Roland Chesters - Profile Picture
Roland Chesters

Michael Grimmett

Michael is a Disability Inclusion Specialist by experience who supports businesses to look at disability differently. Michael is a well-rounded practitioner with professional, academic and real-life experience of disability, who can balance inclusive strategic development with the practical implementation of measures that deliver change. Michael has successfully delivered training to businesses in varying sectors including, Prezzo, Local Space and I-talk.

Rather than focusing on people’s health conditions or impairments, Michael clearly highlights the barriers that exclude disabled people from fully participating in our society, while understanding the nervousness many of us feel when talking about disability. Michael will share personal insight and practical guidance about how businesses can help make necessary change for the better, removing barriers so disabled people are fully included within mainstream activities both personally and professionally.

Michael Grimmett - Profile Picture
Michael Grimmett

Sarah Teichler

Sarah is an Access Consultant registered with the National Register of Access Consultants (NRAC).

She has worked in the accessibility / disability field for 17 years in various roles and has worked as an Access Consultant for 3 years. Since then, Sarah has delivered access audits and inclusive design appraisals for approx. 40 existing buildings and new developments. The buildings she has worked on include commercial offices (including staff facilities within these such as shops, cafes and restaurants, gyms and wellbeing facilities), residential developments, and buildings open to the public including health and education buildings, hotels, theatres, community hubs, libraries, and churches.

In addition to NRAC Consultant level accreditation, Sarah has an MA in Disability Studies and a Level 4 Award in Managing Equality & Diversity in an Organisation from the Institute of Leadership & Management.  She is a member of the Access Association and part of the Inclusive Hotels Network.

Sarah Teichler- Profile Picture
Sarah Teichler

Jen Rooney

After becoming disabled following a ski accident and corresponding brain injury, Jen became passionate about making wellbeing and disability inclusion a priority for organisations and helping individuals acquire skills and tools to support themselves.

Jen has consulted for and delivered training to a diverse group of clients from small non-profits to large organisations including Deloitte, The Cabinet Office, Lidl, and Arup. Jen is Director of The Wellbeing Tortoise, which harnesses the power of storytelling and lived experience to help organisations build cultures of wellbeing and disability inclusion through workshops, talks, and consultancy.

Jen is especially keen to work with clients on projects relating to reasonable adjustments, accessibility, intersectionality, allyship, and invisible disability.

Jen Rooney - Profile Picture
Jen Rooney

Esi is a brilliant, inspiring individual and this shines through in her training session. She delivered a thought-provoking session with real wisdom and even humour! Our tutors felt able to explore difficult topics, and came away from the session with a greater sense of understanding of what we can do to remove barriers for disabled people.

Charly Richardson - ceo, lewisham music

Need More Info?

Training / Disability Inclusion Talks / Disability Consulting 

Interested in learning more about the ways Celebrating Disability can support you and your business?


Previous Clients Include

The Virtual Training Team
Lewisham Music

The Social Innovation Partnership

How Can We Help You?

If you're not sure where to start or need some help and advice, contact us today. We'd be happy to help you.