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UK Disability History Month (UKDHM)

Get Involved in UK Disability History Month

UK Disability History Month (UKDHM) aims to celebrate the lived experience of people with disabilities, whilst challenging disablism by exploring oppression now and in the past. The overall goal is to achieve equality for those living with disabilities.

The University of Brighton is recognizing UK Disability History Month 2021, which takes place between 18 November and 18 December. Despite the Equality Act of 2010 defining disability as a protected characteristic, many disabled people still experience daily barriers, discrimination, and acts of oppression which negatively affect their access to opportunity, their mental health and their physical wellbeing. This is what we refer to when we discuss disablism.

This year there are two themes for UKDHM, which we will explore across a series of speakers and articles throughout the month. The first theme is Disability and Hidden Impairments, and the second theme is Disability, Sex and Relationships.

How can you get involved?

Join us for a series of talks. Stay up to date and get reminders by joining our dedicated Teams channel.

18 November, 7pm – 9pm UK Disability History Month (DHM) Launch event

This event launches this month with this theme on Relationships + Sex and Hidden Impairments. Confirmed speakers range include MP Marsha De Cordova plus a number of writers and actors. Register with Eventbrite

21 November, 2pm Access in/to Musicology: Disability Justice Perspectives

The Music and Disability Study Group and Project Spectrum present a roundtable that applies Principles of Disability Justice to musicological pedagogy, scholarship, and professional development.  With this roundtable, we discuss and acknowledge the systematic exclusion of disabled, LGBTQ+, BIPOC, and other scholars. Ignoring these perspectives corrodes our discipline, but supporting and amplifying them transforms us. We gather to forge a more radically inclusive profession.

Join the Music and Disability Study Group of the American Musicological Society on their Zoom live event

25 November, 1pm Disability Narrative: how storytelling and art practice create a visual language to articulate ‘disability’

Postgraduate Research Student Juanrie Strydom from Solent University will share her personal journey of living with a disability through her art and research. Join the Team live event

2 December, 10am Making it Through: Ideas for Living and Working Well in the Current Context

The pandemic has seen a steep rise in people experiencing depression and anxiety for the first time and for many of us it saw a resurgence of unhealthy coping mechanisms and mental health issues we’d previously experienced. In this session Mental Health Educator Dr Pooky Knightsmith from Bournemouth University will share some of their experiences during the pandemic and explore how not coping to (mostly) thriving both at home and at work.

Register with Eventbrite

15 December, 10am Disability Equality and Human Rights

Prof. Anna Lawson is a blind academic with interest in disability and law. She is committed to working with disabled people, researchers with different disciplinary backgrounds, and other stakeholders to tackle the persistent forms of disadvantage and exclusion experienced by disabled people all over the world.  Come and hear her story via this Teams live event.

Other ways to get involved

You can also work towards being a better ally to the disabled community. We encourage you to use the resources available to you online to explore the lived experiences of various disabilities, and to do so with a lens of intersectionality. Consider how some social and political identities combine to create differences in discrimination or privilege.  

  • Do your own research using credible journals or websites
  • Read articles and blogs from people with lived experience of disability
  • Watch YouTube videos of people with lived experience of disability
  • Listen to podcasts from disabled content creators
  • Diversify the content you see online by following a wide range of people, activists and influencers
  • You can also hear the founder of UKDHM speak about last year’s events and why allyship and activism are important, in this podcast.

All of this will help you to better understand and support the disabled community in calling out discrimination and working towards a truly inclusive society.

UKDHM follows the social model of disability, in which social attitudes, environment and organisation causes most of the disablism people face. For instance, ignorance about access needs, such as not having wheelchair accessible spaces. Another example could be having negative attitudes surrounding hidden disabilities, such as thinking someone “isn’t working hard enough” rather than educating yourself about invisible conditions such as chronic fatigue or long-term mental illness. The emphasis is on society to rethink and restructure how we work, live and play so that it is inclusive of everyone.

disabilityUK Disability History Month

Robin Coleman • 12 November 2021

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