A FORMER Holy Cross College teacher and disability activist has been named as one of the most influential disabled people in the UK.

Heather Lacey, who worked at Holy Cross College’s special educational needs department, and has cerebral palsy and Scheuermann’s Kyphosis spinal curvature, has been listed in the Shaw Trust Power 100 List.

The annual list celebrates the 100 most influential and inspirational disabled people in the country.

Hundreds of nominations are received from the public each year, before the top 100 is compiled by an independent judging panel.

Ms Lacey said: "I never set out in advocacy for recognition. The point is to make real change for people, no matter how small.

"I don't work for a charity, I have a full time job which is completely removed from this aspect of my life, although they do support me.

"But it is nice to know that my efforts haven't gone unnoticed and it's quite humbling."

Ms Lacey first began fighting for disabled rights through her blog, nosuperhero.co.uk, where she shares a candid view of disability from her own experiences ­— aiming to raise awareness of disability and its interaction with day to day life.

As a student at the University of Hull she also wrote a thesis exploring the portrayal of disability in contemporary literature.

She has since gone on to write for Scope and the Huffington Post, as well as serving as an ambassador for the Inclusive Minds accessibility group and speaking at the Children’s Media Conference.

Ms Lacey said: “I think we often forget that disability does not discriminate: it doesn’t care who you are or where you’re from. Now is the time we celebrated the disabled experience for the rich, positive, diverse experience that it is, and it is only through educating ­— and in turn empowering others ­— that we can begin to do so.”

Shaw Trust is one of the UK’s largest charities helping young people and adults into education and work as well as to developing their careers, improve their wellbeing and rebuild their lives.

This year’s Power 100 List top spot was claimed by the journalist, comedian and presenter Alex Brooker, with the top ten also including Paralympian Jonnie Peacock, comedian and presenter Adam Hills, and actor Warwick Davis.

The list has previously boasted Britain’s most decorated Paralympian Dame Sarah Storey, musician Dame Evelyn Glennie and TV presenter and journalist Andrew Marr.

Speaking about the importance of publications like the Power 100 List, Ms Lacey said: "It's nice for these things to exist because then people know that there are people who are trying to make positive things happen.

"Disabilities are not always on people's radars, so it's nice to know that people are really trying to make a difference, and that's having a positive influence on others."