Disability History Month

The NASUWT supports UK Disability History Month (UKDHM), which has taken place in November and December since 2010.

The event is about celebrating the lives and history of disabled people, recognising their rights and the past struggles for equality.

The aims of Disability History Month are to:

  • celebrate the struggles and achievements of disabled people;
  • create greater understanding of the barriers in society that disable people;
  • look at the history of how such barriers are fuelled by negative attitudes and customs, whilst recognising this as oppressive;
  • develop and campaign on what needs to be changed for disabled people to achieve full equality in all areas of life;
  • make equality a daily reality. The UK Government passed the Equality Act in 2010 and ratified the UN Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities, but much needs to happen to make these rights a daily reality for the 12 million disabled children and adults in the UK;
  • recognise the multiple identities of disabled people, including the full range of impairments, and link with disabled people also struggling against sexism, racism, homophobia and other forms of discrimination.

UKDHM is based on the ’social model’ understanding of disability, which the NASUWT both supports and practises. This involves a shift away from a ‘medical model’ perspective, one that views disabled people primarily as having medical problems that need rehabilitating or 'fixing'.

The social model recognises instead the barriers of environment, organisation and attitudes for disable people and understands that these barriers need to be minimised and adjustments made across society, so that disabled people can exercise their human rights.

This year’s theme, Disability and Music, will explore the creative impulse, the urge for self-expression and the need to connect to our fellow human beings.

Teaching resources will be available to download from the UKDHM website. Details can be obtained by contacting UKDHM at rlrieser@gmail.com.