Steven Mifsud, the profoundly deaf founder and director of Direct Access, will see his dulcet tones broadcast to millions as he lends his voice to the Opening Ceremony of the Paralympics, which begins today in Tokyo.
His voice will be utilised in the opening ceremony’s combination of imagery and audio-visuals. In addition, Steven will be on call for the duration of the Paralympics as new content is developed, and is excited for his voice to be broadcast to millions.
“Getting to play a key part in one of the world’s most important cultural events for disabled people and by extension, our visibility in society, could not come without stimulating reflection for where Direct Access began”, explained Steven. “Since our humble beginnings in 2004 as an access consultancy, never would we have predicted this momentous occasion”.
Beginning simply as a start-up bedroom business, our expertise and services over the two subsequent decades steadily branched beyond advising on the physical structure of facilities, to now include the installation of aids and original products designed for the physical and social benefit of disabled people everywhere. We have our own line of evacuation chairs designed specifically with disabled evacuees in mind, collaborated with RightHear to deliver a sophisticated orientation solution, and provided high-quality hearing loops to businesses across the UK and beyond. But as our services expanded, so too has our team, and this has played possibly the greatest part in our success since 86% of us have a physical or neurological disability.
“At Direct Access, we believe that disabled people, if their unique and individual needs are met, are as capable of achieving anything a non-disabled person can”, says Head of Sales Lee Searle. “As we get to witness an expansion of disabled people in mainstream culture after centuries of alienation and exclusion, Steven’s role in the Paralympic games, in addition to his inclusion in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List for services to International Trade back in June, does little but confirm our philosophy, as our consultancy has grown largely on the confidence of our expertise as a disability led company. We cannot help but see today as not only a victory for Direct Access, but for disabled persons everywhere who believe they are somehow inferior or incapable of achieving great things.”
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Watch the Paralympics opening ceremony video “WeThe15”, which features Steven’s voice, below.