audio close compressed excel CS_logo_icon_solid_yellow_alt Created with Sketch. x x image insta-black menu pdf Print BTN - Shortlist Created with Sketch. Share Asset 1 word


Strong Advocate for Equality, Inclusive Design & Accessibility


Ross Chaplin was born in 1971 and became disabled 1973 when he contracted Gullain-Barre Disease leaving him at death's door, unable to move his limbs and with a failing respiratory system. His Mother was told to take him home to die. But, she wasn't having that. She had already lost a child at birth and had another child at home with a terminal illness.

Ross learned to walk with crutches and full length callipers, and attended mainstream primary and secondary schools where the challenge of inaccessible environments only built on his resolve to succeed. He completed his HSC in 1989.

His passion was property and after completing his qualifications he began looking for work. A task made much harder for a disabled young man. Hundreds of job application were sent out, with very few second interviews, once my physical disability was exposed.

"The companies I wanted to work for would not, or could not, accommodate a person with disabilities".

He did eventually secure employment and worked for a number of companies until 1997, when he started his own company.

The business was a spectacular failure, and closed in February 1998. $100,000 in savings had evaporated, and he was left with a further $50,000 debt. Added to this, he was getting married to the love of his life, Julia, in 3 months. An event he had no way of paying for.

Seeing that there is opportunity in failure, Ross saw a niche in the property market for specialist property management services. He started a new company that was sold just 4 years later for several million dollars. He proudly paid off his mortgage, and he and Julia welcomed their first child, Thomas, in 2002. Another child, Catie, was born in 2004, by which time, Ross had built and sold another business and was on his way to early retirement.

In 2016, a call from a friend changed everything. It was from the CEO of a NDIS organisation who needed help negotiating a commercial lease. Ross created a solution that became another business opportunity, but this time, it was for his people. Ross changed his focus to only providing his property services to NFP / NDIS organisations. He saw a need for these organisations to have representation by one of their own. He was encouraged to join a firm called Franklin Shanks in Sydney where he is more than supported in an accessible work environment, carrying out his work, and couldn't be happier.

Ross has also been an elite Sportsman having represented NSW twice, and Australia once in the able bodied sport of Target Rifle Shooting. He is a NSW champion handcyclist who still clocks up 100km plus per week and travels extensively around the world with his wife and 2 grown children.

Ross continues his work with the Sector whilst being a loud voice for People With Disabilities, driving accessibility for everyone.

Talking Points

Resilience: Failure & Triumph

Ross shares his life story of starting out disabled in a very inaccessible world. Finding ways to create his own environment and succeeding in an able bodied world.

Audiences will leave inspired by seeing that it's not what happens to you, it's what you do about it that matters.

Lived Disability & Creating Change

This is an an instructional talk discussing the reality of being disabled.

Ross will convince businesses of the benefit on not only employing people with disabilities, but having other staff more supportive of the move.

Falling Over, Getting Up, Repeat

A look at the hurdles we all come across and how we deal with them. Learning not to worry about problems and seeing the best in any situation.
Let us know

and we'll send all the latest Saxton updates and news direct to your inbox
Thanks, you have been subscribed
View Shortlist