Nov 15 2022

As part of our new EDI Calendar, we are pleased to announce that we will be recognising national Disability History Month from Wednesday 16 November – Friday 16 December. This is an annual event which creates a platform to focus on the history of disabled people’s struggle for equality and human rights, in a society where there is a persistent stigma around disabilities. These is also a continued reliance on the medical model of disability as opposed to the social model. The latter focuses on the inaccessible and discriminatory structures of society being the problem, as opposed to individual impairments.

The theme of this year’s Disability History Month is Disability, Health and Wellbeing. The COVID pandemic has demonstrated the fragility of the rights that disabled people have secured for themselves, and how easily these people can become expendable. These rights have been overridden or dismissed by politicians, medical practitioners and the general public due to deeply entrenched ableism. Societal reliance on the medical model means that the barriers compromising the health of disabled people are not identified and acted upon.

In recognition of this month, our EDI team is pleased to announce two events, open to all current and former students and colleagues, as well as the general public:

1)    Wednesday 23 November, 2 – 3.30pm
Webinar on best practice to support disabled students in Higher Education

The Disability and Mental Health Staff Network invites you to take part in an online panel discussion with representatives from Disabled Students UK. The event will include discussion of the challenges faced by disabled students in UK higher education, the lived experiences of panellists with a range of disabilities, and best practice for disability inclusion. You can book your ticket on Eventbrite

2)    Thursday 1 December, from 6.15pm

Screening of disability activism documentary ‘Invisible’ and Q&A
This event is taking place in-person and streamed virtually on Zoom. ‘Invisible' is a 30-minute documentary in which six disabled women open up about their lives in a world not made for them, and about how the global Covid-19 pandemic impacted them. It also showcases some of the research findings of a British Academy-funded project on the impact of the pandemic on disabled people at work, led by Dr Anica Zeyen (Royal Holloway, University of London) and Professor Oana Branzei (Ivey Business School, Canada). This will be followed by a Q&A, and for in-person attendees a drinks reception. You can book your ticket on Eventbrite

Our Marketing and Communications Team have also created a Disability History Month logo based on the accessible version of the Disability Pride Flag. The original logo was designed in 2021 by Ann Magill, a disabled woman, in collaboration with the disabled community. The black field represents mourning, rage and protesting for victims of ableist violence. The five colours (red, yellow, white, blue and green) represent the variety of experiences (invisible and undiagnosed disabilities, physical disabilities, neurodivergence, psychiatric disabilities, and sensory disabilities). These colours are presented in a diagonal band to represent cutting through the barriers that separate disabled people from society. Colleagues are welcome to use this guidance to add the logo to their email signatures throughout the month.