Liverpool The Blind School: Pioneering People and Places now open Jan 2018- April 2018

February 2, 2018 by richard

Esther Fox talks to a journalist with a cameraman in front of displays about the Blind School

The Blind School: Pioneering People and Places now open

Dear all,

The Blind School: Pioneering People and Places, has now opened at the Museum of Liverpool. This is the second of our three exhibitions about the lives of deaf and disabled people over 800 years.

The exhibition comes with an audio tour, which you can either download to your phone or tablet in the space (free wifi is available) or listen to at home. A guided tour through objects on display is accompanied by performed segments by actors bringing alive some of the people and issues from the School’s 200 year history.

Crafts, campaigning  – and strict rules

The exhibition begins by describing how a group a campaigners, many themselves blind, worked to create opportunities for poorer blind people, expanding their life options from ‘music or begging’. It looks at the growth of the School and the many crafts practised there, as well as the strict rules imposed on residents. Finally it looks at some 20th century life experiences, including evacuation to Wales during the Blitz.

Can you survive a shipwreck and found the School with Edward Rushton?

We have also developed a digital game to accompany the exhibition which you can play at the Museum of Liverpool or (shortly) on our website. Learn about School founder Edward Rushton’s early life history, and see if you can survive various perils and raise money to found the School.

The Museum of Liverpool ad for the new exhibition

Image of woman in red coat with her guide dog surrounded by copy advertising the blind school exhibition
Find out more about the exhibition here by clicking the picture.
Coming soon: V&A Architecture Gallery Display

Our third museum exhibition will be a display in the V&A’s Architecture Gallery, opening on 10th February. This looks at how building design has been shaped by the needs of deaf and disabled people – from medieval sites such as Maison Dieu to Maggie and Ken Davis’ 1970s house for independent living, to a recently designed house where one of the rooms moves between floors.

The exhibition is free.

UK Disability History Month 2017 Postscript

December 21, 2017 by richard

This years theme of Visual Art and Disability has been a great success.

We produced and distributed 2,300 copies of the 12 page Broadsheet.

We had a 2 page article in Septembers issue of the Teacher that goes to 375,000 teachers

We held a successful day conference on 21st October with 55 participants from all over the country with Tony Heaton, Tanya Raabe

-Webber,  Barbara Lisciki, Richard Rieser and Sarah Dormer of NDACA and a film from Alison Lapper-all on the website

We worked with Shape and NDACA to produce 4 animations about the Disability Arts Movement and activities and resource sheets on these animations

We produced a timeline and 50 visual essays of artists who were disabled or featured disabled subjects or both

We delivered and filmed a KS3 and 4 assembly

We delivered a KS 1 and KS 2 assembly with power points

We held a launch event in THE UK PARLIAMENT on 21st November with Marc Quinn and John McDonnell MP

with Tony Heaton, Tanya Raabe-Webber,  Barbara Lisciki, Richard Rieser

The National Union of Students distributed our material and the of their own postcards of strong disabled women leaders to many colleges. This was backed up by many colleges holding events with members of UCU-The college Lecturers Union

Some schools held art competitions

Events were held at Kent University, The Metropolitan Archive, Brighton, Bedford, Leeds, Manchester, Wakefield . Unite the Union and the TUC and many others.

Our theme for 2018 will be Disability and Music. Start thinking and planning now. We will cover disabled musicians and composers, Music that has featured disability story lines and librettos. How the social model of disability in music leads to reasonable adjustmemnts and Music and the Disability Arts Movement.


Contact the Coordinator, Richard Rieser  with ideas and information 0207 359 2855 or Mobile 07715420727



Young, disabled and LGBT+

December 11, 2017 by richard

Young, disabled and LGBT+

Based on new research by British Academy award holder Alex Toft and colleagues at Coventry University, we look at the challenges young disabled LGBT+ people face growing up in Britain today. Join for an evening of talks, workshops and discussions.

Speakers include:

Dr Alex Toft Senior Research Assistant, Centre for Technology Enabled Health Research. Coventry University

Part of LGBT History Month.

Date/time: Wed 28 Feb, 6.30-8.30pm

Venue: British Academy, 10-11 Carlton House Terrace, London, SW1Y 5AH

Price: FREE, booking required 0228 - Young disabled and LGBT+ - Traffic lights - © British Academy Charlie Mock

Disabled photographer, Kev Howard’s exhibition d-FORMED

November 23, 2017 by richard

Kev Howard at Home

Saltburn-based Kev Howard’s social documentary and observational photography has reached global audiences for more than a decade. He’s photographed hundreds of bands, poets, artists and demonstrations in that time – with a photo of Benjamin Zephaniah appearing in The Independent, and his photo of Saltburn-based writer Carmen Marcus gracing the cover of her critically acclaimed debut novel How Saints Dieearlier this summer.

Howard is also an accomplished musician, and has travelled the world as a didgeridoo player, appearing in an Australian Rock Opera plus festivals in Holland, Germany, Belgium and America.

Howard’s latest solo exhibition d-FORMED, help attract nearly 30,000 visitors to Middlesbrough’s Dorman Museum at the beginning of 2017. Following the positive response, Teesside University’s Constantine Gallery will be exhibited the work.

The exhibition sees Howard turn the camera on himself, exploring his lived experience of Arthrogryposis Multiplex Congenita (AMC) – a term used to describe over 300 conditions that cause multiple curved joints in areas of the body at birth. Howard has had 55 major operations as a result of AMC. With each new operation shifting his centre of balance, it’s meant that Howard has had to learn to walk 22 times.

Kev Howard, The Mask

What inspired you to put this exhibition together?

“A whole range of things really, everything from growing up in a generation where, in my opinion, disability rights are often just given lip service. So I decided to chart my own history, found that my body has its own story to tell, and the exhibition is based around that.

The reaction to the exhibition earlier this year was incredibly positive and, amidst all the uplifting feedback, it’s inspired Louise Logan to work with me on this Teesside University display. Louise is a PhD student whose work explores the varying different perceptions of disability, and she is inviting members of the public to join a focus group to help aid her research.

In doing so, she’s helped transform the exhibition into a project that may, somewhere along the line, help make a difference to the way that millions of disabled people are treated in future generations. She has already established focus groups with some students, but is keen to attract people from the wider community to get as broad a mix of opinions and perceptions as possible.”

Talk us through some of the exhibition, and the inspiration behind the photos.

The Mask

“This was the last thing I always saw before being anaesthetised for surgery. It instilled great fear and panic, which intensified up to the age of 8. The anaesthetic gas smelled ferrous and toxic. I knew the next stage was like the sound of a billion bees buzzing inside my head, and then a kaleidoscope of colours which came from nowhere. Then I remember a deep blackness, which fell into a pinpoint of circular light. At 8 years old my mindset changed, and the fear was replaced by a sense of ‘adventure,’ a coping mechanism that stayed with me right the way through to the very last surgery.”

Scarification in Abstract:

“This image highlights the scarification of multiple surgeries in the same area. This part of the foot has areas of hypersensitivity and extreme nerve damage.I really wanted to show the sensual curvature of the foot, but also the extremes within one scar. Where the scar finishes it is light, hardly noticeable. But, just a couple of inches away, it is heavy, gnarly and extreme, with an almost reptilian-like texture.”

Thin Red Line:

“This a very simple image that represents one of the most severe surgeries that I’ve had. The area was operated on 22 times over a nine-year period, and turned the bottom part of my left leg from facing backwards to facing forwards.A complex set of procedures involved the breaking and resetting of individual bones within the foot and leg, and completely removing the fibula, allowing the limb to be gradually rotated over a period of years. This image obviously downplays the severity of the procedure. And by this point, aged 8, I had adopted a coping strategy of ‘adventure’ instead of fear when it came to surgery.”

Kev Howard. Abstract d-FORMED.

Abstract d-FORMED:

“Here, I’ve hidden the flesh with various coloured latex and photographed it against a plain coloured backdrop, basically showing the limbs in coloured sculptural forms. I’m also expressing that, although we all have this basic form, some of us are very different in terms of our body shape – and asks people to think about why we often see beauty as skin deep or not.

“Basically, we live in an age when what is perceived as ‘normal’ is, by and large, unobtainable by the majority of people. We are constantly being fed images of a particular body shape and size, which is having a major effect in society in terms of self-esteem, well-being and acceptance. Thankfully, more and more people in the public eye are fighting back against this body-shaming and having to be ‘perfect’ all the time. We need to accept who and what we are in terms of how we look, and celebrate our own individual self.”

Blood on Their…

Kev Howard. Blood on Their...

“It was great to see Prince Harry and Barack Obama at the Invictus Games and, like the Paralympics, to see disabled people and their athletic achievements shining out on the world stage. But it would be even better to have the same level of equality and social inclusion that everybody else can take for granted on a day-to-day basis.

This image is my own response to both this and the previous Government’s lambasting of people with impairments, ill health and mental health issues – something that cuts across all the main parties. Successive policies and cuts in funding, particularly the loss of the Independent Living Fund and mental health budgets, have created an ongoing crisis for people in need of support.

“This is not only causing needless stress and anxiety to some of the most vulnerable people in our society, but people are actually dying as a result! Due to changes in the welfare system and the cruel use of sanctions, over 2,800 vulnerable people died within six weeks of a Work Capability Assessment from January 2011 to February 2014. And in the same period, around 10,600 people died within six months of being found ‘fit for work.’ Those figures had to be dragged out of the Government and, if anything, the situation is getting much worse.

“In fact, earlier this summer the UN described the Government’s welfare cuts as creating a ‘human catastrophe’ for disabled people in the UK. The thing is, everyone can see this if they look closely enough so, if Prince Harry and Barack Obama would fancy banging a few politician’s heads together and actually making a real difference, I’d be very happy to sit down with them and have a chat about this. Anyone got their number? No?”

Kev Howard’s d-FORMED is on at Constantine Gallery, ground floor of Middlesbrough Tower at Teesside University, Middlesbrough. Wednesday 15 November until Friday 8 December. 8am-6pm. Free admission.

From Disability Arts on line 14th November 2017

‘Disorder’s Avatar’? Literature, Culture, and the Politics of Disability Representation

November 22, 2017 by richard

‘Disorder’s Avatar’? Literature, Culture, and the Politics of Disability Representation

23 November 17:00

Lecture Theatre 2, English Faculty, St Cross Building, Oxford

Dr Clare Barker (University of Leeds)

The English Faculty is pleased to host a special lecture to mark UK Disability History Month.

The event will be followed by a drinks reception in the Faculty foyer. All are welcome.

Blindness, Art and Disability Gain: exploring ways of seeing and not seeing in the art gallery

by richard

Blindness, Art and Disability Gain:

exploring ways of seeing and not seeing in the art gallery

Tuesday 28 November at 6pm in Chakrabarti Room (JHB 208), Headington Campus

Oxford Brookes celebrates Disability History Month with a talk by Dr Hannah Thompson of Royal Holloway, University of London.

For this interactive talk Hannah will draw on her research, activism and personal experience to explore and question what it means to see and not see in the art gallery.

What does a non-visual experience of art feel like?
What happens when visitors are encouraged to smell, touch and listen to visual art?
What can blindness teach the sighted world about art appreciation?

The event is being organised by the Staff Disability Network and Equality Diversity and Inclusion team to mark national Disability History Month.

Booking here: WHAT’S ON—talk-with-dr-hannah-thompson/

Dr Hannah Thompson is a Reader in French prose and a critical disability studies specialist at Royal Holloway, University of London. She has published widely on nineteenth  and twentieth-century French literature and alongside disability, she is particularly interested in issues of gender, sexuality and the body.

Hannah’s blog Blindspot is based on her experience as a partially blind academic.

I:\Personnel\Equality, Diversity & Inclusion\Disability Support\Disability History Month\UKDHM2017_Web-banner_02.jpg

Friday 24th November London Metropolitan Archives

November 20, 2017 by richard

Friday 24th November


London Metropolitan Archives 40 Northampton Road   London EC1R 0HB

Tel: 020 7332 3851


An exciting programme of presentations and workshops will open up our understanding and perceptions of impairment, disability and the lived experience of people from the past. What are our sources and how do they get created? What do they tell us? What don’t they tell us? Could they be misleading us? Come and join the big debate.

Teas and coffees will be served. Please note there are no food catering facilities on-site. You are welcome to bring a picnic.

Taking Stock: The Third LMA Disability History Conference

24 November 11:00-15:30

London Metropolitan Archives 40 Northampton Road, London, EC1R 0HB




Geoff Pick Director London Metropolitan Archives

Impairment, Disability and Archives. Looking to the future.

Louise Bell First World War Diverse Histories Researcher The National Archives

“Maimed and not fit for manual labour?” Employment opportunities and prostheses for those disabled in the war

Stephanie Evelyn-Wright PHD Candidate University of Southampton

Grave Afflictions Stories of Disability from Skeletons


Sally Bevan Senior Archivist London Metropolitan Archives

Introducing the Heart n Soul’s Big 30 Project Collection


The Rt Hon. the Lord Blunkett

The importance of archives for uncovering and preserving the history of disability


Stephanie Evelyn-Wright PHD Candidate University of Southampton

Grave Afflictions Stories of Disability from Skeletons

Amy Oulton, Graphic Designer, Campaigner and Traveller

Amy is a wheelchair user who spent three months backpacking across Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, and Japan with her friend Steph. Find out what she experienced and discovered on this amazing journey


Workshops. Choose A or B:  

  1. Project Building. How can good heritage ideas get turned into an effective and engaging project which contributes to our histories
  2. The Ethical Dilemma Cafe. A chance to discuss some of the ethical concerns around creating collections, offering access and public engagement




Disability History, Bleeding Hearts and Parasite People’ a Distinguished Visitor Lecture with Mike Oliver, Thursday 29 November 2017

November 6, 2017 by richard

The lecture will be taking place on Wednesday 29 November 2017 in the Darwin Conference Suite at the University of Kent, Canterbury at 18.00.

There will also be a drinks reception in the Conference Suite at 17.30 with a buffet to follow on from the lecture. Please find attached your official invitation to attend this lecture, drinks reception and buffet.

The lecture will conclude with a Q&A session. If you would ask a question beforehand please email

Professor Mike Oliver is an academic, author and disability rights activist, having undertaken research in this area since the 1970s as one of the key figures in developing researchers’ and society’s perception of disability. He is Emeritus Professor of Disability Studies at the University of Greenwich with focus on advocating the social model of disability and the rights of people with impairments.

I would be grateful if you could RSVP to Klair Robinson, Corporate Events Office by phone: 01227 823098 or email: including any special dietary/mobility requirements you may have by Wednesday 22 November 2017.

Please do not hesitate to contact us should you have any enquiries about this event.

History of Place ‘Our Guild’ film launch

December 1, 2016 by admin

To mark the International Day for Disabled People and Disability History Month, Screen South is delighted to announce the launch of the first film, produced as part of the groundbreaking disability project, History of Place.

The film which shares the little known history of one of Bristol’s historic buildings, The Guild of the Brave Poor Things will be screened at M Shed, Bristol on Saturday 3rd December from 2pm – 3pm. There will be an opportunity to hear about the filmmaking process from those involved, including some of the young participants discussing the film. There will also be an introduction from Esther Fox, head of the Accentuate programme and speakers on this year’s Disability History Month’s theme: language.


Leeds University Student Disability Action Group

November 29, 2016 by admin

5th December
Leeds University Student Disability Action Group

Speaker Richard Rieser Coordinator UKDHM
Leeds Business School, Maurice Keyworth Lecture Theatre G.02

  • Follow us
  • Donate

    Please help us continue to develop our website, publicity and resources, and hold events – by affiliation and donation.

    Find out how