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Equality and Diversity

December 7th, 2011

December is UK Disability History Month

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Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

Equality and Diversity

December 7th, 2011

December is UK Disability History Month

0 comments

Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

December, in the UK, is marked as Disability History Month. Disability History Month aims to create a platform to focus on the history of disabled people’s movement for equality and human rights. This year’s UKDHM’s theme is ‘Celebrating our struggle for equality’. Find out more on http://ukdisabilityhistorymonth.com/.

The Equality and Diversity blog, which aims to initiate dialogue and debate on topics relevant to equality and diversity, has been a keen host of many posts on disability and disabled people’s rights and issues. Here is a snapshot (in reverse chronological order) of some of our popular blog posts on disability –

Accessible parking sign
© Flickr use Anna's Photos

How much progress have we made in achieving disability equality?
Snéha Khilay shares her experience of attitudes towards disabled people. She reflects on how much progress we have made in terms of disability equality and why disability discrimination still remains deep rooted.

On being labelled ‘disabled’
Do you think before you stick labels onto people? Not everyone whom you see as disabled may identify as such. Oda Skasgeth, who is a ‘tad dyslexic’, expresses her displeasure at being categorised as a disabled student for having a learning difficulty that has both been a challenge and a source of pride for her.

Time to Talk: End mental health discrimination
Even though 1 in every 6 people have a mental illness, mental illnesses remain widely misunderstood and heavily stigmatised leading to low disclosure rates. Erik Baurdoux who was diagnosed with depression talks about the negative attitudes he had to face and his subsequent involvement in a campaign to end mental health discrimination.

(c) Crippen aka Dave Lupton

What do disabled staff members in higher education have to say?
Kelsey Beninger takes this opportunity to speak about her research into the experiences of disabled staff in higher education. Kelsey admits to being surprised at the lack of research and literature in this area and spells out her motivation for and interest in looking ‘behind the scenes’ to find out how people who make student life a reality cope with disabilities.

Should assisted suicide be legalised?
A controversial BBC film on assited suicide entitled ‘Choosing to Die’ has renewed the debate on the right to live versus the right to die or sanctity of life versus dignity of life.  Some of the most vehement criticism has come from disability rights activists revolving around the ‘price’ and ‘worth’ of lives and the implications of valuing different lives differently. This cartoon by the disabled cartoonist Dave Lupton, aka Crippen, spells out the resentment towards the film.

Disability arts: Allan Sutherland’s poems from the words of Nancy Willis
Allan Sutherland is one of the most passionate poets on the disability arts scene and Nancy Willis is a disabled visual artist who has recently been developing her ideas in the moving image and animation (see Nancy’s work on http://www.nancywillis.co.uk/). The two animations presented below are based on ‘The Explorer’, a cycle of transcription poems by Allan Sutherland from the words of Nancy Willis.

Brief Reflections on Disability Theory, Language, Identity, Equality and Inclusion
Nicola Martin, Head of the Disability and Wellbeing Service at LSE, argues against the synonymity of ‘impairment’ and ‘disability’ relying on the new models of disability that envisage disability as socially constructed as opposed to something ‘medical’, fixed and problematic. Reflecting on the way ‘special needs’ language can lead to negative identity fixation, she elaborates on the requirement to engage disabled people in developing inclusive practice to minimise disadvantage and promote equality of opportunity.

We have more to come on disability issues – so do watch the space. To find out about resources available at LSE, please visit the Disability and Wellbeing Service. If you are interested in disability studies or disability research, see DERN.

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Equality and Diversity

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