Creating a fairer Britain
This page introduces the Commission's Disability Committee, explains its purpose, lists who is on the Committee, and provides some background information about the individuals involved.
You can contact the Disability Committee by email
The Disability Committee is a statutory decision-making committee, established by the Equality Act 2006. At least half of its members must be disabled people and the chair must be (or have been) a disabled person.
The functions delegated to the Disability Committee are the Commission’s duties as they relate to 'disability matters' in:
The Commission retains its powers and duties where they relate partly to disability and partly to other matters. However, the Commission must consult the Disability Committee on matters affecting disabled people.
The Disability Committee must consult the Commission's Scotland and Wales committees on disability advice to national governments.
Chris Holmes was appointed as Chair of the Disability Committee and Disability Commissioner in January 2013. He is Director of Paralympic Integration at LOCOG (since 2009) where he was responsible for leading the team that planned and delivered the 2012 London Paralympic Games. Also a Non- executive Director at UK Sport (since 2005) where he has been the Chair of the Audit Committee since 2006, also a Patron of Help for Heroes and a commercial lawyer. Chris was awarded the MBE in 1993 in the Queen's New Year's Honours List for services to sports.
Saghir Alam, a lawyer and a DRC Commissioner leading on partnership and capacity building. He has been working with central and local government on equality and diversity issues including as a member of Equality 2025. He is also a member of the Race and Diversity Panel of CENTREX, the National Police Training Authority.
In the 1990s Andrew was a Lay assessor for the Hertfordshire inspection unit and a founding trustee of PoHwer, the advocacy agency in Hertfordshire. In 1999 he was employed as Director at People First (self advocacy) and has been Co-chair of the Learning Disability Coalition since 2007. He gave evidence to the hate crime enquiry and to the All Party Select Committee on Human Rights regarding Independent Living. He was on the Learning Disability Action Group of the Disability Rights Commission and part of the team that led the enquiry into primary and social care for people with learning difficulties. He also sat on the Advisory Group that set up Equality 2025.
Vice chair of the Disability Committee. For the last 12 years Kirsten has been an experienced advisor to government and key agencies as a non-executive director and a freelance trainer, researcher and consultant. She is the chair of Inclusion London, the Deaf and Disabled People's organisations community interest company, and is a trustee (and former vice-chair) of the consortium of LGBT community and voluntary organisations. Kirsten was an independent member of the Metropolitan Police Authority from 2002 until its abolition in January 2012, where she chaired the Equality and Diversity sub-committee and co-chaired the Domestic and Sexual Violence board. For eight years (from 2000), Kirsten was a member of the Transport for London Board where she championed social inclusion.
Kirsten was an external member of the Office for Disability Issues Disability Equality Delivery board from 2009 to 2012. She helped set up Equality 2025 serving as a member for three years (2006/2009), providing disability equality advice at the heart of government. Kirsten was a member of the Arts Council England Independent Disability Equality Advisory Group for 18 months (until March 2011) and a member of the LGBT Advisory Group to the Metropolitan Police Service from 2000 to 2002.
For sixteen years, Kirsten was an equality specialist and senior manager in local government before leaving to create and run her own successful empowerment coaching and training consultancy, specialising in evolutionary change.
Michelle de Oude is Director of a Disability Consultancy and also works as a Policy, Performance and Partnerships Officer - Equalities, for Norfolk County Council. Prior to this, Michelle worked at the Disability Rights Commission for seven years, where she advised stakeholders on the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 and had a key role in the co-ordination of DRC projects relating to employment.
Michelle is a member of the Federation of Small Businesses. She is also the Design for All co-ordinator for the British Standards Institute, and Chairs the Norfolk and Cambridgeshire Area Crown Prosecution Service Community Involvement Panel. Michelle also acts as an adviser to the National Disabled Fire Association.
Teresa Waldron currently works as Partnerships and Projects Co-ordinator at Chesterfield Law Centre, an organisation that provides free legal advice and casework services in the field of social welfare law, including equality, discrimination and human rights. She is also an advisory member of Acas Disabled People Involvement Forum, advising Acas on disability and employment issues. For the last 7 years Teresa has worked as an Equality/Disability Consultant for a local council. Occasionally, Teresa works as an Expert by Experience inspector for Care Quality Commission, having previously worked for five years part-time as a community care law practitioner at the Law Centre.
Teresa was a member of Disability Living Allowance Advisory Board and a trustee of Law Centres Federation's Executive Committee, Ddeaf Equality Forward and United Kingdom Council on Deafness (UKCOD) Boards. She is currently Vice-Chair of LINKS Council for Voluntary Service. Teresa used to work as Community Development worker at Derbyshire Centre for Inclusive Living and as a Youth worker for Derbyshire County Council.