After serving as an Avon County Councillor, Roger was elected as the MP for Kingswood, Bristol, in 1992. Early on in his parliamentary career, Berry became known as a disability rights activist, and was Secretary and Co-Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Disability Group. A champion of Disabled people’s rights, Roger introduced the Civil Rights (Disabled Persons) Bill in Parliament in 1993. This far-reaching piece of legislation was watered down when the Government introduced the Disability Discrimination Act (1995). However, the intentions of the Civil Rights Bill became law in the Equality Act 2010. Roger left Parliament in 2010. He was a founding trustee of the pan-disability charity Disability Rights UK, serving until 2020. He is a trustee of Bristol Law Centre, having been its chair for five years.

Ruth was originally a teacher but after she became disabled, she felt the role was too physically demanding and there was no legislation at that time to require employers to make ‘reasonable adjustments’. She therefore moved into community work, and did a training course which opened her eyes about equality and discrimination. She then joined Oxfam in 1980 where she became the Staff Equality Rep. on their Trustee Board. Coming to understand more about disability equality, she became incensed by the lack of support Disabled volunteers were given. She decided to refocus her career on disability equality and was successful in gaining a job as Director of Lambeth Accord, a Disabled people run organisation in Brixton (London) in 1984. In this job, she met many inspirational leaders in the Disabled People’s movement and came to understand the importance of the social model, and to attend BCODP (British Council of Organisations of Disabled People) meetings. Ruth returned to Bristol in 1988 and became the first Equal Opportunities Officer for Avon Council, then Principal Disability Equality Officer. She also became involved in the Steering Group to establish a Bristol Centre for Integrated Living and was one of the founder members of the Avon Coalition of Disabled People which was launched in 1989. She was on the Management Committee of the Coalition and was then employed as their Co-ordinator. When WECIL (the West of England Centre for Integrated Living) was launched in 1995, Ruth was employed as the first Director. She left in 2000 and went to work for Bristol City Council as Inclusion Manager (bringing Disabled children into mainstream schools) and then as the Equalities Manager for Education. She then decided she was happier working with young people and was appointed a senior leader in FE colleges in Leicester and Bristol until she retired (always with equality as part of her role). She was awarded an MBE for her work on equality in Further Education in 2010. She then became a local councillor for the Easton Ward of Bristol from 2016 to 2021, and in a voluntary role, she has been Chair of Leicestershire Centre for Integrated Living and more recently Chair of WECIL.

Ruth was originally a teacher but after she became disabled, she felt the role was too physically demanding and there was no legislation at that time to require employers to make ‘reasonable adjustments’. She therefore moved into community work, and did a training course which opened her eyes about equality and discrimination. She then joined Oxfam in 1980 where she became the Staff Equality Rep. on their Trustee Board. Coming to understand more about disability equality, she became incensed by the lack of support Disabled volunteers were given. She decided to refocus her career on disability equality and was successful in gaining a job as Director of Lambeth Accord, a Disabled people run organisation in Brixton (London) in 1984. In this job, she met many inspirational leaders in the Disabled People’s movement and came to understand the importance of the social model, and to attend BCODP (British Council of Organisations of Disabled People) meetings. Ruth returned to Bristol in 1988 and became the first Equal Opportunities Officer for Avon Council, then Principal Disability Equality Officer. She also became involved in the Steering Group to establish a Bristol Centre for Integrated Living and was one of the founder members of the Avon Coalition of Disabled People which was launched in 1989. She was on the Management Committee of the Coalition and was then employed as their Co-ordinator. When WECIL (the West of England Centre for Integrated Living) was launched in 1995, Ruth was employed as the first Director. She left in 2000 and went to work for Bristol City Council as Inclusion Manager (bringing Disabled children into mainstream schools) and then as the Equalities Manager for Education. She then decided she was happier working with young people and was appointed a senior leader in FE colleges in Leicester and Bristol until she retired (always with equality as part of her role), She was awarded an MBE for her work on equality in Further Education in 2010. She then became a local councillor for the Easton Ward of Bristol from 2016 to 2021, and in a voluntary role, she has been Chair of Leicestershire Centre for Integrated Living and more recently Chair of WECIL.

Will became involved with the National Bureau for Handicapped Students in about 1979 while studying at Sheffield University. After university he worked for the Greater London Association for Disabled People (1983-87 towards the end of this period it became of Disabled People). His work for GLAD included chairing Voluntary Organisations for Anti-Discrimination Legislation, the campaign group of disability charities which became Rights Now. In 1990, he moved Bristol to be Coordinator of Barton Hill Settlement and from 1995-2000, he worked for the Bristol Regeneration Partnership. He was a member of WECODP. In 2000 Will returned to disability work as the Wales Director of the Disability Rights Commission, a post he held until the Commission’s abolition in 2007. In this role, he was the lead Director on transport issues, and has kept up that interest becoming a member of the Disabled Person’s Transport Advisory Committee in 2008 and continuing to this day.

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