Martyn Sibley, from St Ives in Cambridgeshire, is number 3 in the Power 100 list of the most influential disabled people in Britain. The list, published by Powerful Media and sponsored by national disability charity Shaw Trust, is a list of Britain’s most successful people with a disability or impairment in sport, politics, business and entertainment.
Sibley, who has Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) is a journalist and blogger who writes about disability issues such as independent living, assistive technology and accessible travel. He also runs a business consultancy firm and sometimes works in TV, appearing on BBC Breakfast, BBC London Inside Out and on Channel 5. He has also written for The Guardian, The Independent and Huffington Post.
His condition causes muscle weakness, which leaves him unable to walk or complete everyday tasks that involve lifting or carrying anything heavy. However, this didn’t stop him co-founding two popular disability websites; Disability Horizons, which is a recourse for disabled people looking for work and other opportunities in their community, and Accomable, which is a ‘Airbnb’ style travel site that deals in accessible accommodation.
In an interview with Cambridge News, he said: “It is a tremendous honour to receive this award and I hope it shows that disability or a health condition is not a barrier to achievement.” and “The Power 100 List is all about breaking down barriers that society puts up for disabled people and acts as a beacon to inspire everyone all those with a disability or health condition who want to achieve their ambitions across all walks of life.”
When asked about the Power 100 list, Chief Executive of Shaw Trust, Roy O’Shaughnessy said: “This list plays a vital role in providing much needed encouragement to the young and talented leaders of tomorrow, allowing them to see that aspiration and ambition can be fulfilled regardless of disability or impairment. Shaw Trust is working closely with the government, employers and local authorities to help halve the disability employment gap, to ensure disabled people are better represented in the workplace and to eradicate the traditional barriers holding people back from achieving life goals.”
The Top 10 on The Power List are:
- Dame Sarah Storey – Britain’s most decorated female Paralympian.
- Alex Brooker – from Channel 4’s Last Leg
- Martyn Sibley – Blogger, TV presenter and social entrepreneur
- Liz Sayce OBE – CEO Disability Right’s UK
- Dame Evelyn Glennie – Musician
- Ade Adepitan – Presenter, Athlete
- Henry Fraser – Mouth artist and motivational speaker
- Andrew Marr – TV presenter, Journalist
- Frank Gardner – Security Correspondent, BBC News)
- Baroness Celia Thomas of Winchester MBE – Vice chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Muscular Dystrophy.