Julie Fernandez - founder of The Disability Foundation
Julie Fernandez is an actress, presenter, journalist and tireless campaigner. She is also something of a minor miracle. Born 10 weeks prematurely with a life threatening illness called brittle bone disease she was given just 2 years to live by doctors. Thirty-five years on she has starred in an award winning BBC series, written, presented and co-produced her own documentary and been a spokesperson for numerous charities at functions at Buckingham Palace and No.10 Downing St. Never one to give in to adversity Julie sees her disability as a positive thing as it allows her to 'think outside of the box', something most people would find difficult to say having undergone nearly 70 operations to fix approximately 100 fractures.
Julie is best known for her role as ‘Brenda' in the BBC's multi-award winning show 'The Office' . Her career started in1992 when she was cast as ‘Vanessa Lockhead' in 'Eldorado' . She went on to star along side Sean Maguire in series 3 of 'Dangerfield' and took the lead role in 'Body on the Runway' , a short film shown at film festivals and cinemas across the UK. Julie has also appeared in a production of 'The Vagina Monologues' at the Cochrane Theatre London.
Away from acting Julie has been a passionate campaigner for parents who have been wrongfully accused of child abuse and she wrote, presented and co-produced 'Brittle Justice' a 30-minute documentary for the BBC's 'First Sight' strand. Her reputation for straight talking and passionate opinions lead to her being interviewed by Michael Burke on Radio 4's 'Choices' and she has recently been invited on to 'Question Time' as a panelist. Although Julie is well known for her political presenting she has also guest presented for popular ITV1 holiday programme 'Wish You Were Here' and built a strong reputation as a main presenter on 'From the Edge', a disability lifestyle television show on BBC2. The highlight of her presenting career came when she hosted the BBC's 'Politics Show' live from Norwich. As a journalist she is asked to contribute to many different publications including the 'Sunday Express' and 'Disability Now Magazine'. As a prominent disability rights campaigner Julie has supported campaigns for the 'DRC', 'Leonard Cheshire', 'Motability', ‘John Grooms' and ‘RADAR' . Her involvement has included many radio, television and newspaper interviews for both the UK and Europe.
In January 2003, in front of 5000 people Julie co hosted the opening ceremony for the 'European Year of Disabled People' in Athens. Since then she has gone on to speak at conferences and events for companies and organisations including 'The Scottish Enterprise Agency', 'Kane Communications' and the 'Mayor of London'.
Somehow Julie has also found the time to set up 'The Disability Foundation', a national pan-disability charity offering some of the best complementary therapies available to disabled people, people with chronic medical conditions and their families at heavily reduced rates (see more on The Disability Foundation on the About TDF pages).
Julie has also formed a television production company called 'The Wheelie Good Company' and is currently working on programme ideas. The Company's employment ethic is to have a balance of disabled and non disabled staff both in front and behind camera.
The much-hyped film 'Killer Bitch' in which Julie plays a short but extremely powerful role is out later this year.
Julie has now moved into Producing and is working on a film noire, feature length comedy and a documentary.
For more about Julie visit: