Kevin Holmes holding scroll in graduation gown and cap smiling to camera

Fellow of the University

A lifelong champion of equal opportunity and equality services.

Cerebral palsy couldn’t stop Kevin Holmes from building a long and varied career, much of it in the field of – and as an advocate for – equal opportunity and equality services.

He was educated at special schools before joining the National Star Centre, gaining a City & Guilds award in Audio-Visual Arts. Following a brief stint as a sound engineer in London, he joined the Manpower Services Commission scheme, working with young deaf people. After that, he developed his first Disability Awareness talks, which he delivered at schools and colleges all over Portsmouth in the International Year of the Disabled 1981.

An ongoing theme throughout Kevin’s career has been the development of courses, talks and resources to build disability awareness and to empower the disabled. He developed a Disability Issues course for Worcester College of Higher Education as part of their BA(Ed) Hons degree which was approved by Oxford University and accepted as part of the Oxford Modular Scheme for Vocational Degrees.

Advised on health grounds to stop full-time employment in 1997, Kevin enrolled at the University of Portsmouth and eventually earned a BSc Computers in Entertainment Technology. He had been involved in a lecturing capacity with the University since the mid 1980’s. After gaining his BSc, he was asked to help establish the Social Work Inclusion Group (SWIG), of which he later became Chair.

Also at the University of Portsmouth, Kevin helped to develop conference presentations and set up the Service User Involvement Group, a body that promotes the importance of service user involvement in teaching, learning and assessment across the School of Health Science and Social Work. This group was pivotal in the rise of the University's Social Work course to number 12 in the Guardian University Guide 2020.