Ph.D Student, Writer, Activist, Disability Equality Trainer
Josh Hepple is a Ph.D student who has severe cerebral palsy. His impairment affects his speech and mobility and he relies on personal assistants 24/7. This website is about his journalism and equality training.
The prejudice that Josh has faced has given him great empathy for marginalised groups; especially disabled and LGBT people.
Josh has been a theatre reviewer and an equality trainer at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe for many years. His Equality Training sessions are based on the social model of disability. Find out more about his Training here.
His clients have included Lloyds Bank, Apple, the Pleasance Theatre Trust, Brighton Dome, London Film Festival, Edinburgh Festival Fringe, Summerhall Edinburgh.
Josh has contributed to various online news sources as a freelance commentator. His unique account in the Guardian of his experiences using Grindr has recently received substantial media attention.
Whilst coming to terms with his impairment as a gay teenager in Edinburgh, Josh received excellent support from LGBT Youth Scotland and Gay Men's Health. However, sensing the need for wider support in the area, Josh helped to establish the charity TalkTime Edinburgh, which provides free counselling for any disabled teenagers, regardless of sexual orientation.
When not campaigning he can often be found having fun riding ponies.
Josh studied at Stirling and graduated with a 2:1 (LLB). During this time he was the LGBT and Disabled Students’ Officer while also helping to run the Amnesty International student society.
After completing his LLB he moved to London to do the conversion (GDL) and professional (LPC) courses in Law. Whilst studying, Josh volunteered with many human rights organisations including Amnesty International and the Human Dignity Trust.
Josh has recently completed his LLM in Legal Practice and has started a Ph.D at Middlesex University which is examining same-sex activity and international human rights law.
How well do you know disability equality?
Some questions to consider
1. What’s the difference between a disability and an impairment?
2. A customer with a speech pattern you cannot understand (such as Josh’s) comes up to you before a performance starts and you cannot understand him. What do you do?
3a. You hear someone making involuntary noises during a performance, what do you do?
3b. A customer complains about the noises, what do you do?