David Constantine MBE is a pioneering expert in disability design, charity founder, and independent consultant.
Initially interested in pursuing a career in agriculture, a diving accident at 21 stopped him in his tracks, and he was forced to look down a new path.
Over his 30+ year career, David has built a worldwide reputation in the disability sector and was named an MBE in 2010 for services to disability. He also won the RSA Student Design Awards and the RSA Bicentenary Medal for his contribution to design advancement in industry and society.
David is now one of the most sought-after disability speakers on the circuit, speaking at expos, summits, and to individual business owners and companies.
Contact Great British Speakers today to book disability design expert David Constantine for your next event.
David Constantine’s expertise in disability design has made him an in-demand expert across the UK and worldwide. His knowledge of the disability market is highly valuable, and he has since travelled to over 100 countries, testing his designs and talking about his experiences.
He was initially interested in agriculture, receiving a degree in the subject from Writtle University College. But just after graduating, he was in a diving accident which resulted in a spinal cord injury, leaving him a quadriplegic wheelchair user. No longer able to work in agriculture how he wanted, he returned to education and achieved degrees in Computer Science, Accountancy and Finance, and Computer-Related Design. He then joined IBM as a junior programmer.
It was whilst working for IBM that he realised ‘good design’ could have seriously positive benefits for people with disabilities, as well as wider society.
Whilst at the Royal College of Art, he met fellow student Simon Gue, and together they designed a low-cost wheelchair, ideal for developing countries. Encouraged by their tutors, the two students teamed up with Richard Frost and took their design to India and Bangladesh to test it in the field.
The idea was so successful that the trio set up Motivation, a UK charity providing appropriate mobility products to low-income and developing countries, and have since worked throughout Eastern Europe, Central America, Asia and Africa. He has also worked alongside the World Health Organisation and developed a range of sports chairs for the International Paralympic Committee.
David left Motivation in 2021 and founded Freedom Through Design, a consultancy firm that advises designers and architects on how to build for people with disabilities. But he says it isn’t just for accessibility. It’s about “How does this product/service/building experience make me feel?”
WHY BOOK DAVID CONSTANTINE?
– David challenges the idea that you know where your life is heading
– David demonstrates how to keep going when obstacles litter your path
– David proves the importance of teamwork and communication
– David encourages you to find your purpose in life
– David will leave you inspired, surprised and motivated
In 2012, David presented a TEDxGranta Talk (Above) entitled ‘The Chair That Changes Lives’, where he discussed his own disability experience, his design, and how important it is to design the world to include disabled people.
DAVID CONSTANTINE – SPEAKING TOPICS
– Diversity, Equality and Inclusion
– International development
– Overcoming Obstacles
– Learning that the story and passion are bigger than you
– The importance of charity
– The value of design
David Constantine is the Chair of the Forming Committee for the International Society of Wheelchair Professionals, President of the International of Prosthetics and Orthotics, sits on the board of the Royal College of Art Alumni, and was appointed a Deputy Lieutenant for the County and City of Bristol. In 2016, his flagship wheelchair model was honoured in the London Design Museum’s permanent exhibition.
Over the years, David Constantine has travelled around the world, meeting and speaking to thousands of people on disability. He provides expert, valuable, in-depth and passionate talks and lectures on how to make life more inclusive for those with disabilities.
I thought you judged the gig perfectly. Really enjoyable and stimulating.
Joe Smith, Director, Royal Geographical Society
Really excellent talk, very powerful and well deserving of the standing ovation you got at the end.
Richard Frost, Mavrix Innovations
I highly enjoyed your TEDx talk! You are a gifted presenter with an incredible story and mission. I particularly enjoyed hearing about the people whose lives your group has changed – they’re not just mobile, they are also able to earn a living, and respect in their communities.
Kristie Lu Stout, Anchor/Correspondent, CNN International, Hong Kong