Steven Mifsud, founder of disability accessibility firm Direct Access, has been awarded an MBE for his services to International Trade in the Queen’s 2021 Birthday Honours list.
Mifsud, who is profoundly deaf, has led Wrexham-based Direct Access to international export success, sharing British innovation and expertise in creating accessible environments around the world.
Recent highlights include leading the implementation of Universal Design and accessibility standards for the world exposition Expo 2020 Dubai; establishing a team of disabled people based in Clearwater, Florida, advising public and private sector organisations on accessibility in North America; and launching an evacuation chair range designed by disabled people with state-wide contracts in the United States and Middle East that creates jobs for disabled people in installation and servicing.
The award recognises Mifsud’s work with the UK’s Department of International Trade to raise awareness of how small businesses and entrepreneurs can access government support to export.
Commenting on his inclusion in the Queen’s Birthday Honour’s List, he said: “I am absolutely shocked and delighted to be honoured with an MBE. Ever since I left University my career has been driven by a desire to make the world more inclusive for disabled people. Other countries were very receptive to learning from the British experience in creating accessible environments and the legislation involved.”
“We have been working very closely with the Department of International Trade and British partnerships to maximise opportunities around the world,” he added.
“It has been an honour to work with other small businesses in the UK thinking about exporting. If I as a deaf person can successfully export, then what is stopping them?”
Mifsud has been twice in the Shaw Trust UK’s top 100 most influential disabled people list and was his hometown Nantwich’s Salt of the Earth award recipient in 2019 for services to the community.