Sarah Boiling (Chair)
Sarah Boiling is a freelance cultural consultant specialising in audience and organisational development. She spent eight years as Deputy Director at The Audience Agency, and started working independently in September 2015. She specialises in bringing cultural organisations closer to audiences, through research, training, consultancy and facilitation, and her clients include Into Film, Poole Museums, the British Council, Akademi, East London Cultural Education Partnership, and the BFI Film Audience Network.
Caroline Maley (Treasurer)
Caroline qualified as a chartered accountant from the University of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa before moving to the UK in the mid ‘80s. She has held a diverse range of positions and has recently been appointed Acting Chairman for Derbyshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust. She also owns and runs her own consultancy company providing advice to small companies and charities on business management and corporate governance.
Caroline is married to Tom, who is visually impaired and a keen supporter of the work of VocalEyes. She is a keen solo opera and lieder singer. While at Capital One she arranged a performance of Handel’s Messiah, where the choir was made up almost entirely of staff who had never sung before. They performed a mere four months later in front of a crowd of hundreds.
Jonathan Abro is a Freelance IT Software Development Project Manager specialising in large Corporate Projects and in making all applications Accessible to people of all abilities and impairments. Jonathan grew up in a farming community in Zululand in South Africa before living in Durban, Johannesburg and Cape Town. He has been living in London since the mid 1990s. His passion is for travel and has spent (and continues to spend) as much time as he can exploring some far flung places.
Jonathan is Registered Blind due to Retinitis Pigmentosa (RP), he has been on the Management Committee of RP Fighting Blindness, designed and managed their website for 15 years and continues to provide support for their London Group.
The first time he attended an audio-described play he was so amazed at the difference that he was constantly telling Annie, his partner, what was going on on stage, a complete role reversal! He joined VocalEyes to try and help other people experience this same pleasure.
Fazilet leads RNIB’s drive to create a more inclusive Society. Fazilet joined the VocalEyes Board in summer 2012. She is responsible for RNIB’s Membership, Campaigning, Marketing, Communications and Research. She also leads RNIB’s UK services, which include the RNIB Helpline and Advice Services, Library Services and Products and Publications. Fazilet started her working life as a solicitor and then moved into local government, where she led equality initiatives.
Fazilet began to lose her sight when she was about 9 and has been registered blind for many years. She loves books and the theatre and visiting new places. She has recently got the fitness bug and earlier this year ran the BUPA 10k with a guide runner.
Sharon is the Director of the Museums Association, a professional membership organisation that campaigns to promote the value of museums to society.
She was formally the Head of Publications and Events at the MA and the editor of Museums Journal, the association’s monthly news and features magazine and was also responsible for programming and managing the MA’s annual conference.
Sharon is on the board of several charities including VocalEyes.
Her background is in journalism, event creation and policy. She has lectured in journalism, the history of museums and museum ethics and has judged prizes and awards including the Clore Award for Museum Learning.
She has written extensively about museums and cultural heritage and contributed a chapter to Museums and Public Value (Carol A Scott, Ashgate). She regularly comments on museums and cultural policy in the UK.
John Thomas was born in Liverpool in 1937. After education at Durham and Yale, he taught politics at Essex in the late 1960s, and during the 1970s was a radio producer at the BBC. From 1981 to 1986 he was a senior lecturer in radio at Christ Church College, Canterbury. And from 1983 until his retirement in 1997, he worked as a consultant and trainer in the use of media for distance education, based in the UK but working mainly in Africa and Asia. Since his retirement, John has been actively engaged in the voluntary sector, working mainly on disability equality issues in the local community and NHS. He is a keen theatre goer, and has been an active supporter of VocalEyes and a patron of audio described performances and arts events since 2003. He has served as a member of Arts Council England’s Independent Disability Equality Advisory Group, and was appointed a Trustee of VocalEyes in July 2012. John has retinitis pigmentosa (RP), and has been totally blind for the last 15 years. He lives in north London with his wife Anne Cameron.
After training at the RSAMD and gaining a degree from Glasgow University, Karen formed a TIE Company, specializing in the Creative Arts.
Working in differing education establishments ignited a passion to ensure the arts are accessible to everyone. She has worked extensively in Film, TV, Visual Arts and Theatre Production, both in the commercial and funded sectors. She built an extensive outreach programme at the Theatre Royal and Kings Theatre, Glasgow, developing a nationally recognised department, embedding the work of the theatres in the city and beyond. She currently works for Ambassador Theatre Company as Head of Learning and Access researching and identifying new approaches, strategies, and creative initiatives, raising the profile and access to theatre, developing the perception of access to theatre within both the arts and education sector and the wider public. She lives in Glasgow, with a husband, two children and a cat, but works and travels across the UK in her current role. She is a Fellow of the RSA.