Disability History Timeline

Suitable for Year 5/6 and secondary pupils and above. A series of cards identify periods in history. On the top are general historical events in that era and on the bottom are events that relate to Disabled people. These are either spaced out and stuck on a wall, or laid out on joined together desks. A larger number of cards depict events or circumstances relating to Disabled people over this period. A number are given to each group and they choose where on the timeline they come and put them in place at right angles to the main timeline. This activity generated a lot of discussion.

The learning point, the oppression Disabled people experience is universal and continues in different forms over time. The question of resistance is raised. This then leads on easily to the need for a Human Rights Treaty for Disabled people and the need for implementation of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

Download history timeline (Powerpoint)

Download examples for timeline (Powerpoint)

A useful introduction for teachers planning to use these resources is Richard Rieser’s essay The History of Disablement. You can download it here: