UKDHM 2014 Day Conference

March 19, 2015 by admin

The UKDHM 2014 Day Conference was held at Student Central on Malett St on 6 December 2014.
Footage of all speakers is available below:

UKDHM Launch 2014

November 21, 2014 by admin

UKDHM 2014 was launched on 18th November, at Unite the Union

Videos of all the speakers can be found below:

Introduction from Chair Sean McGovern

Richard Rieser (UKDHM National Coordinator)

Mo Stewart (WRAF)
Read Mo Stewart’s speech here

Paula Peters (DPAC)

Diana Holland (Assistant General Secretary of Unite the Union)

Katherine Araniello

Arthur Torrington (Windrush Foundation)

Questions from the floor,
with responses from Richard Rieser, Mo Stewart and Paula Peters

John McDonnell MP

See Sarah Ismail’s blog post here

Anti Bullying Week Supported by UKDHM

November 17, 2014 by richard

Picture7UKDHM Supports Anti Bullying Week 17th to 21st November 2014
UKDHM Supports Anti Bullying Week 17th to 21st November 2014
The focus of this year’s Anti Bullying Week is on disabled children and young people and those with SEN who experience the highest rates of bullying and harassment in our schools and colleges.
Resources for schools about challenging disablist language:
The use of verbal abuse as a form of bullying of disabled children and young people is widespread. This has a significant negative impact on self-esteem and achievement. To challenge it requires a consistent wholeschool approach involving staff, pupils, parents and carers. All members of the school community need to be equipped to always challenge and explain why such language is unacceptable.
ABA have created 10 top tips with World of Inclusion about how you can challenge disablist language in schools.
The ABA with UK Disability History Month have produced a resource for teachers .
Teacher resource – the history of disability harassment and bullying (classroom ideas)
We can stop bullying: worksheet for teachers
This resource was written by the Alliance for Inclusive Education as part of their How was school? series of worksheets. It was written to support Anti-Bullying Week and is endorsed by ABA. It explores disabled people experiences of being bullied when they were at school and gives classroom activity ideas.
We can stop bullying: worksheet for teachers
See UK Disability History Month for many more resources

6th December
UKDHM Day Conference, London

November 4, 2014 by richard

Day Conference Saturday 6th December 2014, 10am to 4pm
Room 3D, Students Central, Malet Street, London WC1E 7HY
War and Impairment :The Social Consequences of Disablement

Neil Faulkner ‘Industrialised slaughter: how the world went mad in 1914’
Roddy Slorach ‘A Brief History of Disabled War Veterans’
Kate Macdonald ‘Seeing Disability in British First World War popular culture’
– Lunch –
Pieter Verstraete ‘Commemorating the disabled soldier – tales from the unknown’
Emmeline Burdett ‘The Portrayal of the Disabled Soldier in Wilfred Owen’s poem Disabled (1917)
Richard Rieser ‘The Social Impact of Impairment and War in the Majority World’
Chair Paula Peters (DPAC)

Each presentation will be followed by discussion.
Book your place at or

Fee £5 on door or £2 unwaged. Lunch Provided

Bio of speakers
Neil Faulkner
is a leading First World War archaeologist, a research fellow at Bristol University, and co-director of field projects in Britain, Jordan, and Slovenia. He works as a lecturer, writer, editor, and occasional broadcaster. An independent revolutionary socialist and activist, he is the author of ‘A Marxist History of the World: from Neanderthals to neoliberals’ and ‘No Glory: the real history of the First World War’.

Roddy Slorach first became involved with the disability movement in 1990 while still living in Glasgow. A longstanding socialist and trade union activist, he works in higher education and is a member of the Disabled Members Standing Committee with the University and Colleges Union. Roddy is currently writing a book on the history and politics of disability

Kate Macdonald ‘Kate Macdonald teaches English literature at Ghent University, Belgium, and is the author of many books, book chapters and articles on 20th-century British popular culture and literary history. She is a visiting research fellow at the Bodleian Library, University of Oxford, for autumn 2014-15, working on a project investigating depictions of physical impairment in British popular culture during the First World War.’

Pieter Verstraete is associate professor History of education at the Research Unit Education, Culture and Society of the Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences of the KU Leuven (Belgium). In his research he focuses on 1/the history of rehabilitation 2/the role played by emotions in the history of education 3/the educational history of prevention in the context of TBC, leprosy, polio and aids/hiv and 4/ the historical links between art, education and disability. He just co-authored a book on the history of Belgian invalid soldiers during the Great War (Dutch & French: Verminkte stilte/ Le silence mutilé) and is now working on a publication that will focus on the history of Belgian disabled veterans in the Inter-war period.

Dr Emmeline Burdett gained her PhD from University College London in 2011. She is an associate of the Centre for Culture and Disability Studies (CCDS) at Liverpool Hope University, and a book reviewer for H-Disability, which is part of H-Net, an online humanities resource run by Michigan State University. In addition she sub-edits for Disability Arts Online, and edited a number of chapters of Dr Colin Cameron’s book Disability Studies: A Student’s Guide. She contributed a chapter on Eugenics to the same book, and has also written a chapter for Dr David Bolt’s forthcoming book Changing Social Attitudes towards Disability. Her interests include disability and bioethics, and portrayals of disability in the arts.

Richard Rieser is the coordinator of UKDHM and a consultant, writer and trainer on disability equality and inclusive education which he carries out through World of Inclusion Ltd . Richard is a disabled activist, campaigner, teacher, writer and film maker and over the last 30 years has run a wide number of projects aimed at developing inclusion and greater disability equality in the UK and around the world. Through UKDHM he hopes to develop greater understanding of our struggles against oppression in the past to help achieve equality today and in the future.

Podcast Disability Now UKDHM, ILF, Freud and Party Conferences

October 22, 2014 by richard

Piece for Disability Now

Ellen Clifford

Gary Boulet

Richard Rieser

Mary Laver

UKDHM 2014 – Article from Disability News Service

September 27, 2014 by richard

Original article here

Disability History Month will look back to First World War

By John Pring, Disability News Service

This year’s UK Disability History Month (UKDHM) will examine the appalling treatment of veterans who became disabled after fighting in the First World War.

UKDHM was set up to celebrate disabled people’s lives and explore the history of negative attitudes and their consequences, and runs from 22 November to 22 December every year.

Last year it examined the struggle for independent living, and the threat caused by the government’s austerity cuts and its attack on the welfare state, the equality agenda and the UK’s international human rights obligations.

Previous events held during UKDHM have included school assemblies and history projects, film screenings, art and photography exhibitions, plays, university lectures, blogs and poetry evenings.

UKDHM coordinator Richard Rieser is now calling for organisations to start planning their events for this year’s UKDHM.

The fifth annual UKDHM will examine the links between war and impairment – feeding into the centenary of the start of the First World War – and how those veterans who become disabled through war have been treated.

Rieser said: “Every area in the UK was affected by people going off to war and coming back smashed to pieces, and to little help from the state. The whole emphasis was put instead on charitable donations.”

Because of the “disgruntlement” caused by the way disabled veterans were treated after the First World War, a framework of support for disabled people – and not just veterans – began to form as a result of the Second World War.

This framework, which included employment support, decent war pensions and state-funded rehabilitation, lasted until it began to be dismantled by the current coalition and the last Labour government, Rieser added.

He said: “By understanding history, people can see that the austerity cuts and the attack on disabled people and working people in general is a political decision and has nothing to do with economics.

“We are not arguing for any special treatment for disabled service people, we are saying the cuts are hitting all of us. They should be in common cause [with other disabled people] and saying, ‘This is not what should be happening.’”

He is keen that individuals and groups across the country look at what happened to disabled veterans from their families and local areas, and share those findings with UKDHM.

UKDHM also hopes to focus on how civilians have become more and more affected by wars as the twentieth century has progressed.

It will also be collaborating with Anti-bullying Week 2014, which takes place from 17-21 November and is this year focusing on the bullying of disabled young people.

As part of this year’s events, UKDHM has published a document – researched and written by Rieser, with support from the union Unite – examining the treatment of people who became disabled during past wars, particularly the two world wars.

It suggests that although special pleading for charity for disabled veterans has often been common, “generally attitudes and treatment towards disabled people are negative and discriminatory” and in the longer run “those with impairments created in war are also placed in the same negative category as other disabled people”.

While the response of most of the more than two million disabled veterans from the First World War In Britain was to “suffer in silence”, a minority fought for “rights not charity”.

Rieser quotes Viscount Castlerosse, a disabled veteran, writing in the Sunday Express in 1932. “Instead of demanding our rights we went hat in hand asking for charity,” he wrote. “We ought to have gone bayonet in hand demanding our rights.”

The document also looks at the creation of Remploy after the Second World War, shell shock – first recognised in print in 1915 and now known as post-traumatic stress disorder – and advances in battlefield medicine.

It concludes: “Although service people have been given a slightly better position than other disabled people, they are still subject to negative and oppressive treatment.

“Without their struggles we would not have the anti-discrimination legislation we have today.”

The document will be available from Rieser’s website, World of Inclusion, and the UKDHM website.

Organisations and individuals planning events to take place during the month should send details to UKDHM.

18 September 2014