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Jane is an active Crossbench Peer. She is Co-Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Disability Group with Anne McGuire MP.
Jane has a long history of parliamentary lobbying for disabled people’s civil and human rights. She is particularly active in creating structures which encourage disabled people from all sectors of society to take control of their lives and influence positive political and social change. Since joining the House of Lords in 2007, Jane has chaired two expert panels on Welfare Reform and Independent Living for the Government’s Department of Work and Pensions (DWP).
She was a member of the Parliamentary Joint Select Committee on Human Rights between 2010 – 2012, and a member of the House of Lords Appointments Commission 2008 – 2013. Jane was a Commissioner at the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) from 2006 – 2009 and a Commissioner of the Disability Rights Commission (DRC) from its inception in 2000.
Among her publications, Jane co-authored Disability Politics (with Mike Oliver) in 1996 and contributed a chapter to Disabled People and the Right to Life (ed. Luke Clements and Janet Read) in 2008. In 2012, Jane appeared on Desert Island Discs, which triggered an extraordinary public response celebrating the achievements of severely disabled people who don’t do sports!
Jane received the Liberty Human Rights Award for Lifetime Achievement in 2013. In the same year, she was named President of the National Disability Archive. She has been recognised for her work twice in the Queen’s birthday honours (in 2000 with an MBE and again in 2006 when she was made a Dame). She is the recipient of three honorary doctoral degrees.