Hello, my name is Jade and I am your Liberation Officer for 2023-24! Disability History Month has started and I am so excited to use this as an opportunity to bring awareness to the on-going history of disability within the UK, whilst providing you with the relevent information to enhance your university experiences and/or help you to be effective allies. At the Students' Union, we are committed to ensuring the voices of people with accessibility needs are continue to shine through. Please use this page as a means of learning more about Disability History Month, what support is currently available to students on campus, and available resources to further enhance your knowledge.
What is Disability History Month?
Disability History Month was first celebrated in the UK in 2010. It is an opportunity for us to remember our past, celebrate those currently making history, and address ongoing issues, such as the intersectionality between individuals who have accessibility needs and also identify as belonging to other marginalised groups.
UK Disability History Month (UKDHM) is an annual event creating a platform to focus on the history of our struggle for equality and human rights. It was founded in 2010 by various disabled rights activist groups. Here is their founding statement.
Why is it important that we recognise Disability History Month?
Disability History Month is the perfect opportunity to instigate meaningful dialogue about what disability is, what it means to have a disability or health condition, and all the different forms disabilities come in whether that is mental health, a visible physical disability or an invisible disability.
It is important to make sure all student voices are heard and no one is left behind, locked out, or discriminated against. It is also important that allies of people with accessibility needs stand in unity with the community, working to ensure that their voices are amplified in the fight for equality.
The Students' Union is proud to support and join our students with accessibility needs in Disability History Month, celebrating how far disablity rights have come, but also pushing for further improvements. If you have any ideas, queries, or concerns related to accessability on campus and online, please feel free to get in touch with me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Disability History Month 2022 – Disability, Children and Youth
What is Disability History Month?
An outline of the history of UKDHM
A selection of resources related to William Cuffey, a Black, disabled man from the Victorian era who led the Chartist movement for universal male votes, in what was the first mass political movement of the British working class.
Know your rights! The link above directs your to the Equality Act 2010, where you can find out more information about what is covered by the act and what rights you hold. You might particularly be interested in "Part 6 Education"
Disability, Health and Wellbeing Broadsheet:
This is a long form history piece looking at the history of the health and wellbeing of people with disabilities in the UK and how politics and policy have been used to impact their lives.
Social Model of Disability – Scope
A film looking at the social model of disability which has been developed by people with disabilities. The social model says that people are disabled by barriers in society rather than their physical or mental difference.
Coronavirus and the social impacts on disabled people in Great Britain – ONS Article
Results from three waves of surveys from February 2021 used to highlight how disabled people have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic
Disabled people in Britain and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic – Research paper
Research paper based on interviews with 69 disabled people in England and Scotland to look at the full impact of the COVID-19 pandemic covering topics such as the failures of social care; the use of new technologies; and participants' view on leadership and communication
Austerity cuts killed tens of thousands from 2010 onwards – Disability Rights UK article
Article looking at how UK government policy has caused harm to those with disabilities over the last 12 years
10 Ways to be a Good Ally to Disabled People – She Might Be blog
A blog outlining ways that non-disabled people can be good allies and advocates for those with disabilities.
The University of Leicester's AccessAbility Centre offers support and advice for students with dyslexia or other specific learning difficulties as well as working with students who have sensory disabilities, mobility difficulties; mental health conditions and autism. If any of the above are effecting your studies, even if you do not have a formal diagnosis, please follow the link to get in touch with the AccessAbility team.