UK Disability History Month (UKDHM) is an annual event creating a platform to focus on the history of the struggle for equality and human rights.
The theme for UK Disability History Month 2016, which takes place this year from 22 November to 22 December, will focus on the language used to describe disabled people and the language disabled people use to express themselves. This includes literature, history, oral history and coverage in the newspapers and other print media. Through human rights and the social model approach to disability, barriers can be removed.
There are a series of events and activities from various areas of Leeds Beckett University, with these issues at their heart.
Marking the start of Disability History Month, the Library will be hosting a book display at both campuses showcasing some key texts on the subject of disability. There is also a dedicated web page with key Library resources for discovering more about the history of disability, this year’s theme of Disability and Language, and the Social Model of Disability.
Hosted by our Disability Action Group, we are pleased to have keynote speaker, Deborah Williams to launch the events with “Crip’s The Word” on 29 November, 18:00-19:30, Lecture Theatre C Rose Bowl, City Campus. Deborah, who is Diversity Manager at the British Film Institute, will explore the use of language in relation to disability over time, looking at what was acceptable in the past, the importance of context and the evolution of language.
Leeds Beckett operates the Social Model of Disability which Christine Simpson, chair of the Disability Action Group, explains in her comment:
“The Disability Action Group wanted to put on a series of events as part of UK Disability History Month to aid people in their understanding of the social model of disability, with an emphasis on the theme of ‘Disability and Language’. We’re looking forward to welcoming Deborah Williams from the BFI and we’re also excited to provide a platform for our academics to showcase their expertise on the matter.
It’s been a real cross-departmental effort and we’re pleased to have a range of events for staff and students to engage with. The Library, in particular, have really put a lot of effort into coordinating some online resources and displays for anyone wanting to learn more about disability and the social model. We’ve also been able to draw our attention to partnerships with organisations like Mencap and the Guide Dogs Association as part of our activities.”
The social model of disability has been adopted by Leeds Beckett University and understands disability as being caused by the ways environments and institutions are organised, rather than an individual’s impairments or difference. It seeks practical ways of removing the barriers that restrict life choices for disabled people, allowing them to be independent and equal in society.
The following events will continue throughout the month:
In Predictors of Early Language Development in Down Syndrome and Implications for Intervention on Wednesday 30 November, 16:30-18:30, Rose Bowl, City Campus, Vesna Stojanovik, Associate Professor of Clinical Linguistics at University of Reading, will present her research into which predictors present the strongest relationships with 12-month language outcomes in infants with Down Syndrome.
Achieving 17 Goals for the Future We Want: International Day of Persons with Disabilities - 3 December
Since 1992, the United Nations International Day of Persons with Disabilities (IDPD) has been celebrated annually on 3 December around the world. This year’s theme notes the recent adoption of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the role of these goals in building a more inclusive and equitable world for persons with disabilities.
Look out for tweets from @BeckettLibrary for relevant resources and articles around the theme.
Why lecturers shouldn’t use sarcasm in class and other important questions about inclusive practice; a debate about the social model between students and academic staff
5 December, 17:30-19:00, Lecture Theatre D, Rose Bowl, City Campus.
In this panel debate, lecturers and students will discuss the implications of a social model understanding of disability in a lecture environment.
Autism, Adulthood and Fictions: Reading Autism Portrayals after Diagnosis
7 December, 12:30-13:30, Thoresby Room, Leeds City Museum, LS2 8BH.
Many diagnosticians count a person’s enjoyment of fiction amongst indications that she is probably not autistic. And while countless novels, films and TV series have featured autistic adult characters, people with autism are largely unrecognised as readers and viewers of these ‘representations’. This talk combines literary criticism with a post-diagnosis view of how autism is depicted in contemporary culture.
All the above events are free to attend.
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