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Disability research expert Tom Shakespeare awarded CBE

Professor Tom Shakespeare has been awarded a CBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list for his services to disability research.
Professor Tom Shakespeare

Professor Shakespeare, Co-Director of the International Centre for Evidence in Disability (ICED) at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM), has long been an advocate for advancing disability rights around the world. This includes disabled people’s sexual and reproductive rights, independent living and social care, rights-based rehabilitation, and mental health recovery.

With over 30 years’ experience in the field of disability, his research focuses on the social and economic consequences of impairment and illness, and providing the best available evidence on what works to enable people with disabilities to flourish.

Professor Shakespeare said: “I am very touched, both by the honour and by the supportive reaction of friends and colleagues. I owe my success to partnership with great researchers at LSHTM, the University of East Anglia, the University of Newcastle, and the World Health Organization (WHO), as well as to the participation of hundreds of disabled people on research projects. I think this award honours their voices as much as anything.”

LSHTM Director, Professor Peter Piot, said: “Many congratulations to Tom on receiving this richly deserved award which recognises his outstanding contribution to the field of disability research. Tom's crucial work is improving the lives of disabled people around the world, helping to ensure everyone everywhere has an equal opportunity to thrive and succeed.”

From 2008-2013, Professor Shakespeare was a technical officer at WHO, Geneva, where he co-authored the World report on disability – the first document to give an extensive global picture of the lives of people with disabilities, their needs and the barriers they face.

He is Co-Director of the Programme for Evidence to Inform Disability Action (PENDA), and Principle Investigator of the SUCCEED project at LSHTM. Both projects are funded by the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO), and aim to improve the lives of disabled people in low- and middle-income countries. Current PENDA research includes studying the impact of COVID-19 on disabled people in Ghana, Zambia, India, Bangladesh and with Syrian refugees in Turkey, while SUCCEED focuses on designing and evaluating interventions for psychosis in sub-Saharan Africa.

Other recent notable work by Professor Shakespeare includes launching the Disability Evidence Portal, which aims to provide 100 evidence briefs on disability for policy-makers in order to improve access, health, education, livelihood and social outcomes for people with disabilities worldwide.

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