Disability History Month

Disability History Month (DHM) is an annual event which takes place between 16 November and 16 December. The month creates a platform to focus on the history of people with disabilities and their struggle for equality and human rights.

what disability history month means to me

will simpson

Will Simpson – USW student

When the word disability comes to my mind, it means an ability. I don’t consider myself disabled because I am not, being Neurodiverse is really good - it means that I have abilities that other neurotypical people don’t. Disability History Month to me is important because every day I wake up and talk, fight, and raise awareness for other people like myself.

There are some days that I find it incredibly hard to be me. In 2023 I should not find it difficult to be me, but we all face these challenges every day. Having a diagnosis of ASD does not mean that I can’t do things, it means I just need some more support to get to where I am going, and I am now on the verge of achieving my degree in Information and Communication Technology at USW! Having a disability is incredibly important, and together I will work to keep on raising awareness – I will always talk about Neurodiversity because it is important to me.

In a world that’s hard enough as it is – I will keep speaking about who I am and raising awareness for the ability I have!

Laura Martin-Simpson

Laura Martin-Simpson – Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion Advisor

I experience non-visible disabilities. Disability History Month is an important time for me to reflect on the lived experiences of people with disabilities both throughout history and in the now. Remembering those who have fought for equity before us.

Though I believe that celebrating intersectional differences and cultures, breaking down barriers and stigmas, living and working within the social model of disability needs to be a daily responsibility for us all. In an ableist world which is based on the medical model of disability, it’s vital to remember that difference does not mean deficit.

Catherine Finch

Catherine Finch – Collections Librarian

Disability History Month is about empowering those who are excluded from daily life through ignorance, lack of access, and barriers to education. As EDI chair of Welsh Higher Education Library Services, I see Disability History Month as a chance to share experiences and look at ways we can break down those barriers so that disabled people can fully participate in society.

As a deafblind person, I still feel excluded in many areas of life. For example, subtitled showings for cinema are often scheduled infrequently at odd times of day, so I can’t just enjoy a spontaneous trip with my family. And I can’t drive, which makes getting around to places like swimming pools impossible to do without relying on others or using a fragmented public transport service.

Since the Disability Discrimination Act was introduced in 1995, there have been considerable improvements to ensure that Disabled people can access services, building, transport, education, and employment. So while Disability History Month celebrates Disabled people, it is raising awareness of what can be done to push down those remaining barriers.

Catherine Finch is a Collections Librarian based in Treforest Learning Centre. Profoundly deaf with cochlear implants, she has a degree of visual impairment caused by Usher Syndrome which is a congenital condition that is one of the most common causes of deaf-blindness in working age adults.

Support at USW

Liam John - Senior Specialist Mentor

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Sarah Page - Disability Advisor.jpg

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Hashim and Andrew

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Two people smiling and talking holding cups.

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