Shani Dhanda

Virgin Media and Diversability Card

Shani Dhanda is a social entrepreneur, disability rights advocate, and business and culture change agent. Passionate about representation and creating everyday equality, she is the founder of a discount card for disabled people, the Asian Woman Festival and the Asian Disability Network.

Shani created The Diversability Card, the UK’s first discount card for disabled people aimed at reducing the financial pressures from the extra costs of living with a condition or impairment.

She also founded the Asian Disability Network, an educational platform and support network for people who experience multiple types of stigma. The group breaks down stigma both inside and outside the South Asian community.

For more than ten years Shani has worked as an events manager and recently founded the UK’s first Asian Woman Festival, smashing stereotypes to empower and celebrate Asian women.

Working with Virgin Media as a Workplace Adjustment Specialist, Shani transforms the experience for their disabled employees. She’s also Leonard Cheshire Disability trustee and an Executive Committee member of the Asian Business Chamber of Commerce.

Furthermore, Shani is a member of the Greater London Regional Stakeholder Network bringing the voices of disabled people and their organisations to policy development for the Government’s Office for Disability Issues. She is an ambassador at Valuable 500, Parallel London, a role model at Scope, advisory board member for UnLtd and a columnist at Able Magazine as well as being a speaker on disability and inclusion matters.

Shani said: “I’m driven by the undeniable impulse to make things better by the everyday lived experience of feeling excluded and underrepresented in society. Without inclusion and portrayal of disabled people, there are stories that are missing, so I chose to become the change I wanted to see. We all want to feel represented; we all want to feel seen, heard and valued.”