As part of the research for the FP7-funded project ‘Enabling the Flourishing and Evolution of Social Entrepreneurship for Innovative and Inclusive Societies’ (EFESEIIS), a case study is being developed around Emily Rose Yates, a very inspiring member of the new generation of Social Entrepreneurs.
Emily is a 24-years-old accessibility consultant, travel writer, disability advocate, sex and relationships blogger and presenter. Emily is also a person with disability who has a mobility impairment and who uses a wheelchair in her daily life.
Since 2012, when she founded her consultancy, she spent six months in Rio de Janeiro advising on transport accessibility for the forthcoming 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
The turning point in Emily’s career as social entrepreneur was in 2012 during an interview about her experience at the Games Maker at the London Paralympic Games. During the interview, she stated that the Paralympics were “lifting the cloud of limitation” for people with disabilities.
This statement was later requoted in the Paralympic Closing Ceremony Speech by Lord Sebastian Coe, chairman of the London Organising Committee for the Olympic Games. This was a great opportunity that kicked off the ‘Emily Rose Yates’ disability advocacy and consultancy work.
As a self-employed freelance consultant, Emily is an inspirational example for other people with disabilities that nowadays can realise their aspirations and attitudes, overcoming their limits. In Emily’s vision this is a very exciting challenge that has to be addressed.
In addition to all the activities mentioned above, Emily is also engaged in raising disability awareness undertaking training for students and staff in several Universities across the UK.
She says, “To be a pioneer for this social change is truly encouraging and a humbling experience. I can see direct change that I am making, and that is really special. I’m also working for a cause close to my heart as I live with a disability myself. Everything I do to help others indirectly helps me, too.”
The return from all Emily’s activities are reinvested into her consultancy and advocacy work, as well as in the mobility aids business that she is currently establishing, ‘My Purple Compass’.
Many people with disabilities use mobility aids to make their life easier, but these aids are often bulky and cannot be customised for each person’s taste or style. Emily questions why people with disabilities shouldn’t have access to products that help them out, but also fit in with their fashion sense and style preferences. This is where My Purple Compass comes in. Emily’s belief embodied in the vision of My Purple Compass: style shouldn’t be saved just for the able persons, but everyone should have the opportunity to show off their sense of fashion and style.
My Purple Compass will not only be an online store for mobility aids, but it will also host guest bloggers and disability ambassadors, as well as an interactive forum where the community of people with disabilities can find a place to chat about fashion, relationships, travel and the practicalities of everyday life.
Emily Rose Yates aspires to empower others to take pride in their differences by embracing all aspects of life, from travel and fashionable living aids to conversations about sex and relationships. To her it is important that people with disabilities are seen also as determined, stylish and sexual beings.
To get involved with her work, follow Emily on Twitter @EmilyRYates, or visit her website: www.emilyroseyates.co.uk