About

Paul Smyth, crouching on a beach

“I help disabled people work, bank and reach their full potential.  My disability doesn’t define or devalue me. I’m helping to redefine, reimagine and transform what disability means.”

Paul Smyth MBE

Who am I?

  • Founder and leader of the Digital Accessibility team at Barclays
  • Ensuring digital services are designed for each of us so they work for all of us.
  • Embedding Accessibility into organisations’ products, services and culture
  • Thought leader and public speaker
  • Co-chair of Business Disability Forum’s Technology Taskforce
  • Disability ambassador for web accessibility (appointed by UK Government)
  • Received an MBE for services to disability inclusion

My skills

  • Accessibility leadership and strategy
  • Fostering a culture of inclusion and collaboration
  • Digital accessibility and Assistive Tech expert
  • Evangelist for disability inclusion and inclusive design
  • Risk and programme management

Accessibility leadership

An Accessibility leader of an organisation focuses on:

1. Removing barriers

  • Identifying, anticipating and removing barriers faced by disabled customers and colleagues.
  • Promoting and policing accessibility standards in how digital services and workplace tools are built or bought – resulting in a great experience for a greater number of people

2. Improving lives

  • Upskilling digital and business teams to consciously include disabled customers builds empathy and better products for everyone. ‘You need to be aware to care’.
  • Building products and services by, for and with disabled people helps them be more visible, valued and included, shifting society’s attitudes for the better.

3. Unlocking potential

  • When disabled people are included and empowered, it drives product innovations, engaged workforces and inclusive workplaces
  • Sharing best practice and supporting the disability community and accessibility profession. ‘To move fast, go alone but to move far, go together’.

My values

I’ve been promoting and improving the accessibility for and inclusion of disabled people for 10+ years.  Here’s some of my favourite quotes that have shaped my values

Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better

Maya Angelou

Nobody cares how much you know until they know how much you care

Teddy Roosevelt

Companies with purpose last, brands with purpose grow and people with purpose thrive

Unilever

Strong people stand up for themselves but stronger people stand up for others

Anonymous

It is our choices who show who we truly are rather than our abilities

J. K. Rowling