Disability History Month
Disability History Month aims to explore intersectionality, disability activism, and challenge misconceptions. Disabled people make up a fifth of the population of the UK. And yet they are still the largest minority which faces discrimination in this country.
It's a Spectrum - Experiences of Disability Exhibition
This exhibition will share the personal experiences of people with disabilities to highlight the range of feelings and perceptions on disability. Find the exhibition in the Atrium in Dreadnought Building.
It is important to reflect on this, as for neurotypical/non-disabled people it is a common perception that aspects of disabled identity are something to pity or be fearful of, when in most cases, the negative experiences of disability are a result of a society that does not acknowledge the diverse needs of all people, and treats people with disabilities as lesser.
That said, it would be wrong to not highlight the realities of the negative experiences linked with disability, as we must understand that as a result of our environment, our state of being can become more difficult to manage or may feel like a barrier to us reaching socially defined goals or demands, and sometimes we do get frustrated with our bodies and minds and that's valid and important for others to be mindful of.
This timeline showcases the progress we have made as a society to ensure disabled people have the right to work, welfare, and equality. In 2020 people with disabilities still face many barriers and we must commit to planning a future that's inclusive for all.
In 1944 The Disabled Persons (Employment) Act was introduced, making it a necessity for firms with over 250 employees to employ a quota of disabled people. It was a gesture on paper only – not monitored, and not enforced.
In 1970 The Chronically Sick and Disabled Persons Act gave people with disabilities more rights to welfare. But their access to wider society was still a glimmer in the distance.
In 1995 The Disability Discrimination Act was introduced. Race and gender legislation had been introduced in the mid-1970s, but it took another 20 years for disabled people to be recognised with civil rights enshrined in law.
For the first time, it became illegal to discriminate against people with disabilities when it came to education, transport, employment and the provision of goods and services.
In 2010 The major principles of the Disability Discrimination Act were amalgamated into the Equality Act. The requirement for ‘reasonable adjustments’ to be undertaken remained a key aspect of the Act.
Today disabled people still face barriers across society. In physical environments, in attitudes, and in the way that information, goods and services, opportunities and spaces are provided.
Our GSU Officer Zoë is organising a programme of events this autumn. Please contact Zoë at firstname.lastname@example.org to share your ideas, experiences and feedback.