Dr Amit Patel is a best-selling author, diversity, equity and inclusion consultant, motivational speaker, disability rights campaigner and charity Trustee. He is registered severely sight impaired (blind) having lost his sight to keratoconus in 2013.
Amit studied medicine at Cambridge University and qualified as a doctor, specialising in emergency medicine and major incidents. During medical school, Amit was diagnosed with keratoconus, a condition which changes the shape of your corneas, but which is usually easily treated with a corneal transplant. However, Amit was one of the rare individuals for whom the transplants rejected and despite travelling to the US for ground-breaking surgery, Amit lost his sight completely just one year after getting married.
Since then, Amit has been on a journey to learn to live with his sight loss, from learning how to make a cup of tea again to walking using a white cane. After getting to grips with the basics himself, Amit set out to help others who were new to sight loss through volunteering with the Royal National Institute for the Blind (RNIB) and Guide Dogs for the Blind. Today, Amit remains an active campaigner for accessibility, diversity and inclusion, speaking out against the issues that disabled people face daily. Amit supports charities nationwide and is also a Trustee for the London based sight loss charity, Vision Foundation.
Amit was matched to Kika, his first guide dog in 2015. Kika was the inspiration for Amit to write his first book called ‘Kika & Me’ published by Pan Macmillan in 2020 and shortlisted for the inaugural Barbellion Prize in 2020.
Committed to achieving greater representation of disabled people across all areas of life, Amit continues to challenge himself and challenge other people’s perceptions of disability. In 2018, Amit teamed up with automotive giant Toyota GB to achieve his dream of driving a GT86 around the test track used for the world’s most famous car show – Top Gear. Amit’s lap time of 1 min 46.58 seconds would put him fifth amongst the famous faces who have driven around this circuit on the programme.
Amit is also known as a broadcaster, presenter and media personality, having presented for BBC Morning Live and provided voiceover for radio adverts. Amit has worked with the Eden Project and The National Lottery Community Fund to promote The Big Lunch on TV and radio. Amit appears regularly in various online and print media in the UK and around the world, as well as featuring as a specialist contributor to BBC London News, ITV London News, Channel 4 News, Channel 5 News and Sky Sunrise as well as BBC Asian Network, BBC Radio 4, BBC 5 Live and BBC London Radio.