About Us

 

Direct Access has led the accessibility and inclusion field since our inception in 2004. We are a DOBE® certified Disability Owned and Operated Business Enterprise, providing our real lived experiences of disability.

Director and Founder

Steven established Direct Access in 2004, building it into the international award-winning firm it is today.

Born profoundly deaf and growing up with an acute awareness for disability related issues, his early work included audit consultancy for the department chain John Lewis, several local authorities, housing associations and education establishments from primary to universities.

Steven was also the project lead for several major commissions including the Science Museum Group, McArthur Glen, UNESCO World Heritage sites, the Roman City of Bath, Sport Wales and the Transport for London step-free programme for the 2012 Olympics.

Steven was the Project Director for Universal Design at the world exposition Expo 2020 Dubai, then for the duration of the event became the Director of Accessibility. Since 2017, Steven has been the lead Access Consultant for railway operator Avanti West Coast. Steven was also part of the audio-visual narration for the Tokyo Paralympics.

Steven is registered with the National Register of Access Consultants (NRAC). In 2021, Steven was awarded an MBE for services to International Trade in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list.

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Steven Mifsud holding his MBE on the grounds of Windsor Castle

Operations Director

Profoundly deaf since birth, Steve was initially based in Dubai, establishing Direct Access’ operations in the Middle East.

He worked on Expo 2020 Dubai for nearly four years, including two years as a secondment working on the curation and programming. Steve now leads on Direct Access’ business development programmes engaging with and developing bespoke consultancy programmes for clients in different countries. He has been the Access Consultant for several museums and hotels. He was the team lead working with rail operator TransPennine and on infrastructure projects in France. Steve was also the lead Consultant working on Heritage Lottery funded programmes for Sherbourne Valley, Coventry.

He is registered with the International Association of Accessibility Professionals as an Built Environment (Advanced) specialist and is in the process of obtaining his doctorate.

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Steve Dering

Senior Access Consultant

Tom is an experienced and accredited NRAC access consultant with skills ranging from basic surveying and access auditing to consultancy, consultation, presentation and training. He has lived experience of disability as a quadriplegic wheelchair user, due to a high-level spinal cord injury sustained in an accident over thirty years ago.

Providing Access Consultancy and Consultation on a variety of high profile build projects for over 15 years, Tom has worked for the Wonderlab gallery at the National Media Museum in Bradford, National Museums Liverpool, and National Railway Museum in York, for which he provided guidance throughout the design and build phases.

Recently, Tom gained a working knowledge of applicable Emirati and international access standards and applied them to a variety of buildings and environments over the vast multi-billion-dollar site used for Expo 2020 Dubai.

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Tom Morgan

Accessibility Project Manager

Holding Qualified Teacher Status, Sophie joined Direct Access in 2021 after having worked in many educational settings, from Private Nurseries to General Primary Schools across Merseyside, the Wirral, Sefton and Cheshire. 

Part of Sophie’s previous role was to liaise with Special Educational Needs Coordinators and provide inclusive environments for all children, including children with Education Health Care Plans (EHCPs). 

Her Continuous Professional Development includes Designated Safeguarding Lead Level 3, Mental Health Awareness, SEND Code of Practice, Sensory Processing Behaviour, Understanding Autism and most recently, Paediatric First Aid.  

Sophie has undertaken Access Audits for reputable educational settings such as Marlborough College and is continuing her professional journey to support and help create inclusive and accessible environments.

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Access Consultant Sophie Malton stood in the foreground of a Park Safety banner for children

Marketing and Social Media Executive

Michael joined the firm as our Marketing and Social Media Executive in 2020 after graduating with a First-Class BA (Hons) degree in Media, Writing and Production at the University of Bolton.

Michael had previously contributed to a variety of projects on a part-time basis, including writing and directing launch videos for flagship products such as the Direct Access Evacuation Chair and, more recently, the Direct Access Tactile Braille Map Boards. Since then, he has developed and managed content for Direct Access’ social media avenues, various websites, company newsletters and press releases.

As an autistic person, Michael has lived insight and experience of disability and continues to offer a uniquely neurodiverse perspective within the company.

Michael has mastered industry standard film editing software and has experience filming and editing promotional content for TEDx, the Mayor of Bolton, Regis Dance and Wellbeing in London, and is also a long-form content writer for Ghost Cult Magazine, an online rock music publication based in Los Angeles.

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Michael Miller

Access Consultant

Profoundly deaf since birth, Jamie has a wide range of experience working in the field of disability and deafness, echoing Direct Access’ passion for ensuring equal access for all.

His most recent experience has been over 13 years with the National Deaf Children’s Society working in an Advice and Guidance role. This involved working with and supporting families of deaf children and young people and the various professionals who support them to recognise their rights and gain the relevant provision within categories such as Education (Additional Learning Needs/ Special Education Needs), Health, and the Equality Act as examples.

Previously he has worked with other disabilities including directly supporting adults with cerebral palsy in Australia. This included traveling with and supporting the Australian Boccia team athletes at the FESPIC Games in Malaysia in 2006.

Jamie has attended both mainstream and deaf schools and has a BSc(Hons) in Computing and Photography.

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Direct Access Consultant Jamie standing in a field holds up an electronic lantern and smiles for a selfie

Company Administrator

Born visually impaired as a direct result of Nystagmus, Keir joined the Direct Access team in 2022, managing our general activities amidst the firm’s exponential post-pandemic growth.

Keir brought with her an extensive and experienced career as a healthcare professional, spending over a decade caring for people with dementia and helping non-verbal people to overcome communication barriers, as well as people who have suffered strokes.

With five years of administration experience under her belt through the similarly expanding Nantwich Town Disability Football Club, operated alongside her registered blind husband, Keir has dedicated herself to communities in our home town of Nantwich.

Alongside her duties at Direct Access, Keir is continuing to help disabled and elderly people by working towards attaining a Level 3 Diploma in Health and Social Care.

Direct Access Company Administrator Keir Welch smiles for a photo

Field Service Engineer

With over ten years of machine operation experience under his belt and a keen interest in technology, Andy has led the charge in delivering and installing Direct Access’ full product range to clients, including Induction Loop systems, bespoke Tactile Braille Map Boards, and Evacuation Chairs.

Prior to joining the Direct Access team in 2022, Andy worked for Ross Care, for whom he turned his hand to the installation, servicing, and repair of mobility and assistive equipment within the Cheshire area.

In addition to his knowledge of assistive equipment maintenance, Andy’s first-hand experience with disability extends to his family life through his visually impaired son, who plays for Nantwich Town Disability FC, and is a source of constant inspiration to him.

When he isn’t working, Andy is a passionate gamer, and golfer and enjoys fishing and football.

Middle aged man stood beside a Direct Access branded van

Watch Our Video

Watch our short video to learn more about us, where Direct Access began, what we do and how we can help businesses to create a more accessible environment.

Latest News

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View Article: Green Space Dark Skies featured on BBC 2

Green Space Dark Skies featured on BBC 2

A large-scale outdoor experience for which Direct Access managed accessibility and inclusion, Green Space Dark Skies was a program of Unboxed 2022 that allowed visitors to experience beautiful green spaces across the UK via night-time illuminations.

Read Article
View Article: What is Purpose Built Student Accommodation?

What is Purpose Built Student Accommodation?

At Direct Access, we regularly encounter horror stories about students excluded from proper access to their education environments due to insufficiently constructed student accommodation failing to meet their needs.

Read Article

Address

Direct Access Consultancy Limited
Room 2, Regent House
Princes Court
Beam Heath Way
Nantwich, CW5 6PQ.

Tel: 0845 056 4421.

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