Job title: Associate Consultant
More about Roland
Roland was born in the north of England to an English father and French mother and has lived most of his life in London after a somewhat rocky start in Paris. He graduated from the Royal Holloway College with a degree in Modern Languages way back in the last century, and after a variety of jobs in senior management in the private sector he joined the Foreign and Commonwealth Office as a language-testing specialist. Following a life-changing diagnosis of HIV and AIDS in 2006, he became a campaigner for disability rights. He subsequently enjoyed a number of different roles within the FCO as Diversity & Equality Officer and later Learning & Development Adviser. There he was also elected Chair of the Disabled Staff Network and worked with the Civil Service Disability Network. He is now a self-employed Disability Development Consultant and has his own company, Luminate.
He is the author of the recently published ‘Ripples from the Edge of Life’, which he says will be his one and only publication. GScene said of the bookRead bio“None of us know how many heartbeats we have left; facing mortality is a culturally difficult thing. Ripples gives us clear clarion voice after voice which shows us, gently but insistently, there are many ways of successfully navigating horrific times, and surviving.”
As a Consultant he says he “works with the person in the wheelchair to enable them to climb their highest mountain”. He collaborates with individuals who have become disabled later in life, organisations that employ them or want to employ them and agencies that support them. As a speaker he focuses on his own personal experiences to enable his audiences to reflect on how to overcome the challenges that we all face in our lives to make the most of the short time that we have. His motto is ‘inspire, educate, challenge’.
Roland lives with his partner, Richard, in London and enjoys opera, classical music, theatre and fashion (his favourite item of clothing being a bright red corduroy suit). He fights boredom and normality with gusto, and says he is at his best when he’s made a positive impact on someone else’s life.