Disability History month

Last Monday I attended the launch event for Disability History Month in London.

It was the 9th annual Disability History month, as it began in 2010. I did a speech there and presented the history of People First in England, Learning Disability England and self-advocacy.

The theme this year is Leadership, Resistance and culture. You can find out more and how to get involved here

I think it is great that history disability month exists and has been going strong because it gives people a chance to recognise the amazing things disabled people have achieved over time.

Apart from myself, there were many other inspirational speakers who attended, who talked about their life stories and experiences and other disabled leaders.

The other speakers were:

Baroness Jane Campbell

Member of the House of Lords, Chair of British Council of Organisations of Disabled People (BCODP), Chair of Independent Living Committee, Campaigning and winning Direct Payments and Commissioner of the Equality and Human Rights Commission (2006-08).

Michelle Daley

A proud black disabled woman, born and raised in the East End of London to Jamaican parents. Worked in the disability field for over 15 years and currently acting CEO of the Alliance for Inclusive Education and International Committee for Reclaiming Our Future Alliance (ROFA).

Peter Beresford OBE

Is Emeritus Professor of Social Policy at Brunel University London. Former Director of the Centre for Citizen Participation. He is an activist and advocate for Mental Health System Survivors.

Ellen Goodey

Is a learning disabled actor, director, writer (plays and songs) and public speaker.  Worked on many tours in theatres and schools with Face Front Inclusive Theatre. Currently touring interactive show ‘Its my move’ to school audiences.

Judy Hunt

In 1960, aged seventeen she went to work at Le Court and in 1970 she married Paul Hunt who was by then, a leading voice there. Paul continued to raise his concerns regarding institutionalisation and founded UPIAS (Union of Physically Impaired Against Segregation. Judy was encouraged by friends to research and record this history.

Louise Regan

NEU National Officer, Membership and Equality and Past President, She is a teacher, trade unionist, internationalist – fighting for a better society for all. Louise has taught in primary schools in Nottinghamshire for 30 years and has been a primary headteacher for the past 20 years.

Richard Rieser

Coordinator of UKDHM (United Kingdom Disability History Month), CEO of World of Inclusion and representative of the UK Disability Movement at the United Nations and helped draft the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Active in NEU and Labour Party. A film maker, writer, trainer and consultant. Richard developed the idea of UKDHM and coordinated it in 2010.

Well done to all these speakers, they were inspiring to listen to.

I hope that UK disability history month keeps being celebrated for years to come so we can continue to recognise the positive progress we are all making for people with disabilities.