Madissa Asgari - Trainer

Training area: disability equality rights

Madissa is the founder of Toucan Diversity Training and a diversity and equality practitioner. She is committed to promoting the social model of disability to improve the lives of disabled people.

Madissa was born with spina bifida. This is caused by a fault in the development of the spinal cord and surrounding bones (vertebrae).

Madissa’s story

Madissa Asgari has a German mother and a Persian father; this multilingual, multi-cultural upbringing, together with her own physical condition helped make her aware of the range of existing cultural and religious attitudes towards disability.

When she was 18, Madissa wrote Timeband, a children’s book that challenged the negative depictions of disability within children’s literature.

The main character has a disability that is never mentioned and so readers judge her for her character, not her disability. Timeband was distributed at schools and printed through the national charity Whizz-Kidz’. Buy Timeband It is available on Amazon and can be purchased via this website.

Madissa Asgari studied for a BA (Hons) in Languages and European studies at the University of Portsmouth. This included a year at the University of Marburg in Germany.

This experience clearly highlighted the importance of promoting the social model of disability, to improve the lives of those with disabilities.

The year abroad demonstrated that, although Germany has better medical services in place for students, the UK focuses more on trying to make sure students are independent and included within university life.

Having obtained her degree at Portsmouth, Madissa went on to do a Masters in European Studies and International Relations. Her dissertations for both academic levels focused on different aspects of disability in society.

In 2012, Madissa became a member of the Portsmouth Disability Forum, which campaigns to improve local facilities and services for disabled people in the Portsmouth area.

In November 2013, Madissa established Toucan Diversity Training as a social enterprise. Toucan Diversity is committed to providing disability equality training for various establishments, such as employers, schools and voluntary organisations.

Madissa is an associated member of the Institute of Equality and Diversity Practitioners (IEDP). She has a Level 3 Award in Education and Training.


 Training aims:

  • Understand where attitudes come from and how they have changed over time
  • Highlight the importance and value of the Social Model
  • Gain a brief overview of the Equality Act and learn what is expected of service providers in the UK
  • Be aware of respectful language and etiquette
  • Create a more inclusive environment for staff, clients, volunteers, pupils etc

Training methods:

  • PowerPoint presentation
  • Group activities
  • Quizzes
  • Video talk
  • Discussions

Course duration: 3 hours or 1 Hour (shortened version)

Group size: Maximum 20


Madissa Asgari

Endorsed by:

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