Portfolio

Disability, in its entirety, is an extremely broad topic to tackle. Therefore, my work falls into three specialist areas, as evidenced below. That said, Written Wheel is versatile, and I’m always keen to grow. If you can spot a gap in the market and you have a burning desire for me to fill it, give me a challenge and add another string to my bow.


Disability Integration

Image Credit: Sian Hutchings Photography

Jo is passionate, dedicated and seamlessly uses many platforms to inspire change for others. Whether it’s Lincolnshire Young Voices or beyond, she offers an unconventional perspective founded on creativity and the ability to think rather differently. Jo’s determination to attain true disability integration rests on her passion and willingness to share and learn from her own personal experiences. Her thoughtful, wise and often hilarious personality exudes her desire for excellence and makes her a truly unique and inspirational individual.

Russell Outen-Coe: Designated Clinical Officer for Children and Young People with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities

Advocating for disability rights is more than promoting and fighting for our minority’s visibility and voice. It’s about creating a connection; providing an education through which integration can be accomplished and maintained.

  • It’s How I Roll 19/07/2020 - When I was asked to write for AJM Healthcare, I didn’t have a clue where to start.  For sure, I’ve had plenty of wheelchairs in my twenty-six years – my first manual one was fluorescent yellow; my first powerchair acquired a puncture by day one.  In terms of constructive criticism, it’d be nice if there… Continue Reading
  • Lincolnshire Young Voices: Purple Banners with Bells 16/12/2019 - I think it’s safe to say not every committee meeting ends with Christmas lights being unplugged in order to charge a wheelchair. Not every committee meeting has a wooden spoon as an integral part of the proceedings. And not every committee has a mascot in the form of Alfie, the Labradoodle. Continue Reading
  • Exciting Times Are Ahead 20/10/2019 - Yesterday saw another Lincolnshire Young Voices committee meeting take place. All I can say is it was brilliantly crazy. Some meetings run without a hitch and some are organised chaos.We cluttered Lincoln Drill Hall café for the best part of an hour. Continue Reading
  • Lincolnshire Young Voices: Get Involved 04/08/2019 - Do you want to make a positive change for young disabled people in Lincolnshire? Do you want to meet like-minded people and be a part of something special? Do you passionately believe that people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) deserve to have their voices heard? Continue Reading
  • Making Participation Work 24/04/2019 - So, if you’re a regular to the Written Wheel site, you may know that I’m a committee member of Lincolnshire Young Voices. And if you’re one of the lucky few who are privy to the ramblings I post on Facebook, you’ll also be aware that last week, my friend and fellow LYV buddy, were asked… Continue Reading
  • Lincolnshire Young Voices: Inspiring Change 20/03/2019 - I don’t know about you, but I think there’s something illogical about the saying, ‘before you judge a man, walk a mile in his shoes’. And no, I don’t think that because I can’t actually walk; it just goes against human nature. Sure, we shouldn’t be judgemental of anyone, but to judge someone is also… Continue Reading
  • Trying Is Better Than Wondering 06/01/2019 - I’ve never bought into the restrictions that societal labels put on people. Just because I’m a girl doesn’t mean my favourite colour is pink. Just because I have four cats doesn’t automatically put me on the mailing list for the Highstreet’s up and coming store, Spinster’s R Us. Continue Reading
  • Her Royal Highness Visits Linkage 19/12/2018 - On Tuesday 11th December, Her Royal Highness, Princess Anne visited Linkage Community Trust to officially open Boultham Park Education Centre. The occasion was the climax of an eight-year, £4.2 million partnership between Linkage and Lincoln City Council.In 2010, the two organisations joined forces to expand Linkage’s facilities as part of the Boultham Park Restoration Project.… Continue Reading

Disability and Diversity

Image Credit: Colette Griffin

As the Director of an Arts and Cultural Hub in Lincoln, I am eternally grateful for Jo’s voice. Jo is invested in the transformative value of access to arts and culture, and recognises the necessity for organisations to adopt an approach defined by transparency and equity. In a sector statistically defined by inequality, her informed perspective is utterly invaluable. Jo represents the change she wants to see, with a personable, committed and generous attitude to forging and maintaining professional relationships and taking on new challenges.

Kerry Campbell: Artistic Director of Mansions of the Future

We can’t do anything about the cards we’re dealt, but we can choose how we play them. My work on the subject of diversity aims to support people to realise their full potential, irrespective of their circumstance.

  • The World Will Be Our Oyster 09/03/2020 - I’m the last person you’d think to hire as an Accessible Travel Consultant: I’d score zero in an orienteering exam and my common sense wouldn’t rate much higher. Just last week, I braved Dennis’s storm and trekked to the bus stop, but my path was flooded. So, instead of finding a drier route, I waded… Continue Reading
  • Embracing Diversity 21/01/2020 - Credit: Carl Spring. Jo Tolley specialises in all aspects of diversity and inclusion. Jo is a passionate writer, public speaker and advocate of integration, authenticity and creativity, but most importantly a wonderful and warm-hearted person. Her words have touched the lives of many people. We are thrilled to have appointed Jo as a Sensory Traveller consultant… Continue Reading
  • A Thing Called TEDx 17/11/2019 - It started with ballet shoes. Correction, it started over ten years ago, when I found myself up a mountain, butt-naked without a wheelchair and lying in a puddle of my own pee. If I hadn’t had that somewhat surreal experience, I wouldn’t have had to recount it a decade later to Andy Farenden. Continue Reading

Disability and the Arts

Image Credit: Jamie Marcus Productions Ltd

Jo is a regular contributor to our productions, highlighting diversity and the importance of integration in the creative arts. From helping the casting process to advising on the Access to Work scheme, she has given us invaluable written and practical insights into creating inclusive productions that allow theatre for everyone.

Julie Fox: Director of Jamie Marcus Productions

I wholeheartedly believe the Arts industry is a crucial outlet for people living with a disability. It enables us to express ourselves and showcase our talent. Furthermore, it offers a vital platform which opens doors to conversations about disability integration.

  • Inclusive and transformative: How Lincoln’s Arts industry proves barriers can be a thing of the past. 04/07/2020 - Photo credit: DTC Productions The Arts are accustomed to laughing in the face of adversity: thinking not only outside of the box but demolishing the box entirely. If anyone was misled into thinking that the notions of disability and creativity couldn’t coexist, Corona has quashed those conceptions. Inclusive, transformative, and inspiring; the Arts prove that… Continue Reading
  • Lincolnshire Young Voices in Lockdown – How creativity can create change 25/05/2020 - In adverse times we need to think outside the box, and so I’ve roped in the help of Lincolnshire Young Voices (LYV). Funded by Lincolnshire County Council and backed by our fabulous NHS, the participation group acts upon issues faced by young disabled people with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities across the county. These inspirational… Continue Reading
  • The inspiring Lincoln TEDx talks that will steer you through lockdown 19/04/2020 - As a writer whose reputation somewhat rides upon promoting disability and the arts, I’ll be the first to say my job is a walk in the park; a park in which I have to find a needle in a haystack. The arts is indiscriminate to disability, to race, religion and creed. Hence, in its indisputable… Continue Reading
  • Jo Tolley: Mansions of the Future – Dispelling the myth that one size fits all 06/03/2020 - As a writer, I see the daily impact the arts has on disabled people. I surround myself with likeminded individuals who accept my scatty, unconventional brain which runs at a million miles per hour, irrespective of my wheels. Through my fellow creatives of Lincoln, I have discovered the way to fit in is to stand… Continue Reading
  • The Magic of Stardust 01/12/2019 - “Stardust is amazing! I make new friends and I have loads of fun.” – Nathan Storey.Disability means an unconventional lifestyle. It means not fitting into what people class as the ‘norm’. Continue Reading
  • Lincoln Drill Hall: Think Outside of the Box 27/10/2019 - We all know the Arts industry gets bad press. Careers within the sector aren’t generally seen as “proper jobs”. Parents want their kids to become doctors, lawyers and secure a stable income. Continue Reading
  • When Stardust Did Grease 16/06/2019 - If you know anything about me, you’ll know I have a hunger for creativity and a love for anything that exudes inclusivity, integration and diversity. So, if you put me in a room where all the above are happening, I’m guaranteed to be in my element… On Thursday, I took a front row seat as… Continue Reading
  • More Than Just a Panto 11/12/2018 - On Saturday night I journeyed to Neverland with Peter Pan. That’s right, it was the opening weekend of panto season for Jamie Marcus Productions at the Lincoln Drill Hall and what a fabulous show it was! With a pinch of fairy dust, the audience transformed into the Lost Boys who never grew up. Continue Reading
  • An Awfully Big Adventure 02/12/2018 - It’s that time of year again. Have you got your decorations down from the loft? Have you sent your list to Mr Clause? Continue Reading