Ruth Fabby [formerly Gould until October 2019] is the Director of Disability Arts Cymru (DAC) since August 2019. Now residing in Cardiff, Ruth is leading the organisation to support a creative and equal Cymru where disabled and Deaf people are pivotal to the arts of the nation. Its mission is to open up access and opportunity, celebrate diversity, nurture new talent and established high-calibre disabled/Deaf creative industries practitioners, and inspiring change throughout Cymru.
Previously she was the founder and Artistic Director of DaDaFest, one of the most successful disability arts festivals in the world. Based in Liverpool, DaDaFest began as North West Disability Arts Forum in 1984, to support the development of disabled/Deaf artists. DaDaFest continues to produce a biennial international festival with artists from across the globe.
Ruth initially trained in performance arts, speech and drama at Liverpool Theatre School, and has worked in the arts / disability arts all her professional life. Ruth was the chair for the Unlimited Commissioning Panel in 2015. As a stimulating and enthusiastic public speaker, Ruth is regularly invited to speak about subjects relating to Disability and Deaf arts at conferences and cultural events across the globe. In the last two years she has worked in Finland, Qatar, Toronto, New Delhi, Pittsburgh [PA], Raleigh [NC], San Francisco and across the UK delivering talks, chairing or leading workshops.
She is a Winston Churchill Travel Fellow 2014, visiting India, Malawi & South Africa, and has also been to DR Congo, Australia and various part of Europe to create and encourage connections with disability organisations around the world.
In April 2015 she was appointed a Deputy Lieutenant for Merseyside, was made an honorary Canon at Liverpool Cathedral in Oct 2016 and awarded a MBE in 2016 Queens Birthday Honours.
In 2018 she was Awarded Fellow status of John Moore’s University, Liverpool
In November 2019 she was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award at the inaugural Culture and Creativity Awards for the Liverpool City Region.
Ruth sees disability rights very much as human rights and is a passionate and knowledgeable speaker. She also articulates the links between art and social change.
Ruth has a deafness gain, and is more comfortable speaking in a studio environment, rather than down a telephone line – though this can be done if arrangements made in advance by using a Lip Speaker or Palantypist.