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Nancy Birney


GDA Trustee Nancy Birney in her office chair - Nancy has long curly dark blnde hair and a fringe, and is wearing a black and white patterned top.

Nancy has supported the work of GDA from its early days, in her professional role as Head of Equality, Diversity & Inclusion for Glasgow Clyde College with strategic equality leadership across all college functions for students and staff. Nancy was a leading and key driver of GDA’s Learning Provider Reference Group from 2006 – 2011, offering insights and expertise to improve access to learning for disabled people. From this time Nancy was a key partner of GDA and continues to provide guidance and advice around Adult Learning and related issues.

She has dedicated her working life to providing learning opportunities to those who experience additional barriers, particularly disabled learners. Originally a drama teacher, Nancy moved into Further Education becoming Senior Lecturer in Inclusive Learning before ultimately becoming Head of Equality Diversity & Inclusion.

Nancy is herself a disabled person and committed to delivering and fighting for Equality and Human rights. On her retirement she has joined GDA’s Board as she passionately believes that lifelong learning and capacity building are key tools to support disabled people and help them to develop their individual and collective voices as well as take their own power. She was previously Board member and Treasurer of Inclusion Scotland for over 10 years and brings a wealth of governance experience and skills in managing collective responsibility, to:

Nancy enjoys singing, amateur dramatics, yoga and spending time outside. Nancy says,

I understand the drastic consequences of social isolation and I’ve seen first-hand that if disabled people receive the support they need, they can achieve beyond the low expectations placed on them. I am profoundly aware of the challenges facing disabled people’s organisations and hope to continue to bring skills and strengths around the ongoing sustainability issues facing GDA”