The theme of this year's Disability History Month is Disability, Health and Wellbeing. The University is commemorating this important occasion with a range of events and publications to get you talking about disability and the ways in which we can both raise awareness and take action in addressing the needs of our colleagues, students and friends. If you'd like to get involved by suggesting an event for this month, or would like more information on what we've got planned, be sure to contact the Culture and Inclusion team. Additionally, if you are a student check out SU's Disability Action Group and if you are a member of staff with a disability, consider joining one of our fantastic staff Networks - aFLAME Disability Network for Staff and PGR or the Neurodiversity Network for staff and PGR students - for advice, support, and the opportunity to socialise.

Lunchtime talk with former Paralympian Kate Grey

We are delighted to share that Professor Rajani Naidoo will be jointly hosting a talk with a former Paralympian and alumni Kate Grey, who joins us on 14th December at 12:30-13:30pm. Kate has been swimming internationally since debuting in 2006 at the World Championships and combined studying for a degree in Coach Education and Sports Development with training at the University pool. Since competing at the 2008 Paralympic Games in Beijing, Kate has been working tirelessly to represent disabled athletes globally and has turned her focus to a role as an athlete mentor working with young people to promote the power of sport, most recently launching a new career in the world of media and broadcasting. You can register your place for this event on Eventbrite.

A new Disability Awareness Training Resources page

We are delighted to share a new webpage that hosts a collection of resources - including documents, videos and slides - to raise disability awareness and equip staff to better assist disabled colleagues. You'll find links to self-learning and facilitator-led online training, a 10-point guide on how to develop a more inclusive environment for neurodiversity from the Centre for Applied Autism Research and more.

aFLAME Disability Network Staff and PGR and Assistive Technology Meeting

The aFLAME Network will be meeting with Assistive Technology to discuss the wide range of equipment available to staff to ensure their workspaces are as accessible and easy-to-use as possible, and what more can be done in this area to assist our disabled colleagues with their everyday working practices. The event had to be postponed due to strike action on 24th November and will be re-arranged for January 2023.

Awareness-raising Wheelchair Challenge

After the success of the wheelchair challenge undertaken by students from Hayesfield Girls' School for Disability Awareness Day, staff members will try their hand at taking part in this challenge by navigating their way through a predetermined route across campus. Led by aFLAME Chair Otter Baker, several members of staff - including Vice-President of Community and Inclusion, Professor Rajani Naidoo, University Chaplain Nigel Rawlinson and Deputy Director of Culture and Inclusion, Abigail Phillips - will be given a tutorial on how to use wheelchairs and find their way across campus, in an effort to draw attention to the difficulties faced by wheelchair-users and the ways in which we can build upon our existing accessibility efforts to make their everyday lives a little easier. The activity will take place at 10am on 12 December and begin in the Chancellor's Building.

Media Spotlight

The C&I Podcast Spotlight returns, now expanded to include books and films, too! This time, there will be a weekly post every Friday starting from 18 November, right through to the final day of Disability History Month on 16 December. You'll be able to learn and hear about a mix of projects by disabled creatives, including candid conversations around disability, interviews with disability activists both in the UK and abroad, and the history of the disability movement and the strides taken to get disabilities across the spectrum recognised and taken seriously. Check out the EDI blog for more details every Friday.

Library's reading list for DHM

The Library is in the process of putting together a selection of resources to celebrate Disability History Month. This list will be expanded and updated as we acquire more stock. If you have any suggestions of titles to add to the list, please email the Library.

Disability Inclusion in the Workplace 2022 Conference

This December, the Institute of Government and Public Policy (IGPP) are delivering a conference on Disability Inclusion in the Workplace, which will be attended on behalf of the University by Abigail Phillips, Deputy Director of the Culture and Inclusion (C&I) team. This timely conference will examine the key barriers facing people with impairments in the workplace, and how those barriers can be recognised and removed. Through a series of keynotes from policy makers and key stakeholders, as well as case studies giving practical examples of innovation and improvement, the conference will cover the most pertinent issues currently being faced by disabled people in the workplace.

Riding for the Disabled Association (RDA) talk

We're very happy to welcome Chair for the Wellow Group of the Riding for the Disabled Association, Charlotte Obolensky, for a talk on the amazing work their team does in supporting young disabled people learn new skills and have fun through horse riding. Further details, including the date and venue for this event, are due to be confirmed shortly.

Research publications

Dr Simon Hayhoe, a Reader in the Department of Education, specialises in disability history, and has written on the subject for the past 20+ years. The following work explores the real, historical biographies of individuals with disabilities, case studies of institutions that are charged with providing inclusion and support and the history of philosophers who have created knowledge on disability, from the 17th century onwards. This work finds that knowledge created about people with disabilities, particularly sensory impairments and learning difficulties, have led to exclusion in institutions and within the broader community. You'll find Simon's work on his profile page, but for your convenience here are some of the publications you could explore during Disability History Month:

Additional resources

In addition to the events and activities taking place across the University this month, you can find resources designed to help those with a disability and improve your knowledge of how to best assist our disabled colleagues and friends: