Blind veteran Jamie included in the Disability Power List 100 2019
Blind veteran Jamie Weller was announced as one of the most influential people with a disability in the UK at a reception at the House of Lords this week.
The Shaw Trust Disability Power List 100 is an annual publication of the 100 most influential disabled people in the UK. Nearly 200 nominations were received for the 100 places. The Disability Power List 100 is compiled by an independent judging panel, chaired by, Ambassador to Disability Rights UK, Kate Nash OBE.
Jamie joined the Royal Navy aged 17, following a life-long dream to work with naval jets and aircraft carriers. He trained as an aeronautical engineer and was posted to a sea harrier squadron. However, at 19, Jamie lost sight in both eyes bringing his naval career to an end.
Jamie was told his life was over, but took this is a challenge to break down perceptions of what blind people can achieve. He retrained, studying mathematics at Warwick, and became a qualified tax Consultant. Jamie was the first registered blind member of the Chartered Institute of Taxation and worked in the high-pressured world of Deloitte for many years, both for clients and teaching tax to graduates. In 2012 he carried the Olympic torch during the London Olympics relay.
In 2014 Jamie joined the Armed Forces Para-Snowsport Team and represented GB as an alpine ski racer. After a bad crash Jamie decided to ski uphill and helped found the GB para cross country and biathlon team, shooting with an audio weapon. He has taken part in the Invictus Games winning four bronze medals in cycling and track running.
Jamie has been supported by Blind Veterans UK who he fundraises for and has served as a Trustee. He also supports Help for Heroes, including a fundraising trek to Mount Everest’s Base Camp and Big Battle bike Ride. Jamie is also a speaker and ambassador for Guide Dogs UK, Blesma, and resilience initiative Making Generation R. Jamie is currently training to become a life coach and has taken up acting appearing in a theatre production with his guide dog, Freddie.
“Being blind is a daily challenge. I manage my blindness; it does not define or manage me. It’s a real frustration but I solve the problems and then get on with my life. Hope, determination and resilience can surpass all else.”Jamie Weller