Carrie-Ann Lightley

February 23, 2023

Carrie-Ann Lightley

What do you do?
I’m Head of Marketing at AccessAble, the UK’s leading provider of detailed disabled access information. I also run my own accessible travel blog – – and sometimes take on speaking or writing opportunities on accessible travel. I’m also an Ambassador for UP!

What has been your greatest achievement?
Around 8 years ago I met a disabled woman – let’s call her Alice – who assumed that travelling to Rome would be impossible for her. She’d fallen in love with the city before she’d become disabled, and was desperate to return but just couldn’t imagine that she’d manage. As my own trip to Rome trip had such an impact on me, I’d written a travel guide to Rome’s disabled access. Alice had read the guide, and on the basis of my review, had found the confidence to book her return trip to Rome. In 18 years of travel blogging, I’ve won awards and accolades, stayed in luxurious hotels and written for national newspapers – but I count changing Alice’s assumptions on the accessibility of Rome as one of my greatest achievements.

What was your biggest challenge and how did you overcome it?
It’s taken me a long time to find my true self-image, and that continues to evolve with life’s changes. As a child I had no disabled peers, and no role models who looked like me showing me the path to follow. As a result I tried to follow other people’s paths, making myself appear and behave as ‘normally’ as possible. As a young adult I began working in the world of accessible travel, surrounded by proud, talented disabled people, and with the help of some excellent mentors I began to find my passion, and the confidence to really be myself.

Who was your role-model growing up?
I don’t think I had one – see above answer.

What do you think would help more adults with CP achieve their ambitions?
A strong support network, and being around people who’ve had similar experiences, are so important. It’s about finding your tribe, and not carrying shame about being different. Shine, regardless.