Leeds Disabled People’s Organisation (LDPO) believe in striving to create a safe and accessible space that empowers and connects all disabled people to come together, to connect socially, discuss disabling social barriers and build connections with each other in the city of Leeds.
We are an organisation for people with all types of impairments because we believe in empowering all disabled people to come together.
We intend to help disabled members raise awareness of their needs, should they require it, and campaign for political changes in the city of Leeds and in response to national legislation that impacts disabled people.
LDPO operates using the social model of disability, which states that in addition to being potentially hindered by impairments; disabled people are disabled by inaccessible societal barriers (e.g. lack of wheelchair ramps in public and private buildings).
We believe in accessibility, awareness and activism or “the three A’s” and together we hope that we can make Leeds a better city in terms of accessibility (e.g. transport and housing), rights for disabled people and building lasting social connections between people with a wide range of impairments. Together we will make Leeds a city that is desirable to live in for all people.
Who we are
CHAIR: Mostafa Attia
DEPUTY CHAIR: Leonora Gunn and Chris Shanks
SECRETARY:: Danielle Lawrence
TREASURER: Anzir Boodoo
ALLIED OFFICER: Hannah McGurk
EQUALITY and DIVERSITY OFFICERS: Rebecca Porter and Christian Harrison
POLITICAL AND CAMPAIGNS OFFICER: Peader O’Dea and Alex Norman
EXECUTIVE OFFICER: Gary Collington
My lived experience of disability ( blind) enriched my last 15 years of activism, research, and professional work with an in-depth understanding of challenges that face various disabled people. My MA on disability studies that I have obtained from Leeds University in 2009 along with my submitted Ph.D. on “Revolution, Global Development and Disability Politics in Egypt”, enhanced my theoretical knowledge and critical analytical skills. This was beneficial during my academic publications and consultancies to provide recommendations to guide policymakers' decisions to establish mechanisms for inclusive policies.
Coming From the Student Movement, Chris completed his M.A Disability Studies in 2019. Through his work with LDPO, Chris looks to end ableist oppression and improve the lives of disabled people in Leeds.
Hannah completed her masters in Disability Studies in 2018 and has been an ally of LDPO from the beginning. Key interests are improving accessibility in Leeds, raising awareness of barriers many people face, and of course encouraging more people to become allies. She is also keen to adopt an intersectional approach and strengthen relationships with other groups.
Christian joined LDPO as an Equality and Diversity Officer in 2019. Previously, Christian was living and working in the USA before coming to Leeds to complete a Masters degree. Christian is currently working on a PhD at the University of Leeds researching how disabled transgender people use social media.
Leo Gunn is doing a PhD in Philosophy at the University of Leeds. Her area of interest is the philosophy of disability. She is also on the advisory committee of the Chronic Illness Inclusion Project, and works part-time for Northern Broadsides in Halifax.
Anzir is a founder member of LDPO and former Board Member of Disability Support DS in Bradford. He works on Transport and Sustainability Policy for The Chartered Institute of Logistics & Transport, Living Streets Leeds, Zero Carbon Yorkshire, Our Future Leeds and Planners Network UK as well as for us at LDPO.
I came to Leeds in 2017, to study a Masters degree in Disability studies. I’m currently studying a PhD at the centre for disability studies, university of Leeds. My PhD is looking at disabled people’s experiences of claiming Personal Independence Payment, and the impact it has on their lives (poverty, wellbeing etc).
My name is Peadar O’Dea. I am from The Republic of Ireland and I came to Leeds to study an MA in disability studies at the University Of Leeds which I completed in 2017. I am also a writer and musical theatre enthusiast and a Newcastle supporter, god knows why.