Writer, Activist, Lecturer,
Disability Equality Trainer
Josh Hepple is an equality trainer and consultant who has severe cerebral palsy. His impairment affects his speech and mobility and he relies on personal assistants. 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 equality trainer at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe for many years. His Disability 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. He also works in academic and practical environments and teaches similar skills in vocational degrees such as social work and dietetics at London Met University and Bournemouth University.
Josh has also contributed to various online news sources as a freelance commentator. His unique account in the Guardian of his experiences using Grindr received substantial media attention. He collaborated with Jon Bradfield to adapt these experiences into a play, which was shortlisted for the 2020 Papatango New Writing Prize out of 1,504 entries, and won the 2021 Hope Mill Prize. The play is due to be staged early next year at various venues.
Furthermore, he has experience lecturing on disability and equality law at King's College London. In addition to this, he has regularly delivered classes and lectures on disability and social work law at Goldsmith's University, Bournemouth University, and London Met University.
Josh studied at Stirling and graduated with a 2:1 (LLB). During this time he was the LGBT and Disabled Students’ Officer while also acting as President of the Amnesty International student society, and representing disabled students at NUS Scotland.
After completing his LLB he moved to London to do the conversion (GDL) and professional (LPC) courses in Law at City University, London. His dissertation while completing his subsequent LLM was highly commended. Whilst studying, Josh volunteered with many human rights organisations including Amnesty International and the Human Dignity Trust.
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 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?