The theme of this year's Disability History Month is Disability, Health and Wellbeing. We're 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, please contact the Culture and Inclusion team. Additionally, if you are a student check out SU's Disability Action Group. If you're a member of staff with a disability, consider joining one of our fantastic Networks - aFLAME Disability Network: 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're excited to share that Professor Rajani Naidoo will be jointly hosting a talk with former Paralympian and alumni Kate Grey, on 14 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 worked tirelessly to represent disabled athletes globally and turned her focus to a role as an athlete mentor working with young people to promote the power of sport. She's recently launched a new career in the world of media and broadcasting. Register your place for the event on Eventbrite.

A new Disability Awareness Training Resources page

We are pleased to share a new webpage hosting 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 and 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 Disability Network: Staff and PGR 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 was postponed due to strike action and will be re-arranged for January 2023.

Awareness-raising Wheelchair Challenge

Following the successful completion of the Wheelchair Challenge for Disability Awareness Day by Hayesfield Girls' School some of our staff will be taking on the challenge. Led by aFLAME Disability Network: Staff and PGR Chair Otter Baker, 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 shown how to use wheelchairs and make their way across campus. The challenge aims to draw attention to the difficulties faced by wheelchair users and ways in which we can develop our accessibility efforts to make their lives easier. This event has been postponed due to adverse weather and will be re-arranged, details pending.

Media Spotlight

The C&I Podcast Spotlight is back and now includes books and films, too! This time there will be a weekly post each Friday starting from 18 November, through to the final day of Disability History Month on 16 December. You'll be able to learn 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 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 books 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 happy to welcome Charlotte Obolensky, Chair for the Wellow Group of the Riding for the Disabled Association, for a talk on 12 December. The talk will cover the amazing work their team does in supporting young disabled people learn new skills and have fun through horse riding. This talk is open to staff and students and will be jointly hosted by Charlotte and Otter, Chair of aFLAME Disability Network: Staff and PGR, from 12:30pm-13:30pm. This event has been postponed due to adverse weather and will be re-arranged for a future date, details pending.

Invisible disabilities: in conversation with Rob Cooper

To highlight International Disabilities Awareness Day, Aiste Zubiniene from the C&I team spoke to Rob Cooper from Public Engagement about his personal health challenges and the importance of recognising that not all disabilities are visible. You can read about Rob's experiences on the EDI blog.

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, has led to exclusion in institutions and within the broader community. You'll find Simon's work on his profile page.

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: