Get ready for Disability History Month

Our Student EDI Ambassadors Charity, Olivia and Jasmeet tell you all about the period.

Taking place between Thursday 16 November to Saturday 16 December, Disability History Month is an annual opportunity to come together to celebrate and commemorate the lives and achievements of disabled people in the UK.

First established in 2010, it’s also a reminder for us to unite to challenge the perception, bias, and oppression that many disabled people experience. Each year, the theme changes so that we can explore and challenge different issues. This year’s theme is ‘Disability, Children & Youth’. To find out more, check out the Disability History Month UK website.  

We’re delivering a great programme of events to provide a safe space for conversations, increase our understanding of this year’s theme, and show our support for disability equality at UoB. Look out for Old Joe's changing colours on Sunday 3 December too, marking the International Day of Disabled People.

You can also help us shape our Disability Services at UoB. By volunteering to take part in the Disabled Students Contribution Group you can offer your perspective and enhance the student experience, while developing your skills. The group is open to all students (Undergraduate and Postgraduate) who identify as having a disability. Complete the registration form for more information. 

What's on

There are plenty of events happening on campus this Disability History Month. Get involved! 

  • Change 100:
    Thursday 16 Nov, 11:00-13:00, Murray Learning Centre (UG06)
    Paid Internships for Disabled Students: Drop-in to this free session held by Careers Network, where you can ask questions about Change 100, find more details about the programme, get help and support with your application process and more

  • UGS Talks
    Friday 17 Nov, 13:00-14:00, Online
    Join the University Graduate School to discover how academics and postgraduates are making a difference in Disability and research at UoB, exploring current research into disability and neurodiversity, inclusive research design, and being a disabled and/or neurodivergent postgraduate.
  • Student Disability Service Catch Up & Networking:
    Monday 27 Nov, 12:00-13:30, Beale Room (G32) opposite Aston Webb Student Hub
    Network with other students and the Student Disability Service Advisors to chat about how the first term is going for you, whilst getting involved in creative activities such as board games and other fun crafting activities. You can also ask any questions you might have, and learn more about the service. No booking required!

  • B-Film Screening of The Peanut Butter Falcon:
    Monday 4 Dec, 17:00-20:00, Muirhead Tower (G15)
    Come along to this thought-provoking and engaging event of discussions and film screenings; one a short documentary, the other a full screening of ‘The Peanut Butter Falcon,' followed by a talk from Stuart Murray, Professor of Contemporary Literatures and Film at the University of Leeds and author of Disability and the Posthuman: Bodies, Technology, and Cultural Futures.

If you’re attending one of our sessions later this month, you can join in the conversation on social media using the hashtags #DisabilityHistoryMonth #UKDHM in your posts. Don’t forget to tag us @UniBirmingham.

Hear from our students

A key principle of UK Disability Month is that it starts with educating and informing people through sharing stories and information. That’s why we asked EDI Student Ambassador Olivia to share her thoughts:

What does Disability History Month mean to me?

"Disability History Month is important to me as it raises awareness of the struggles for equality that disabled people like myself have fought for in the past, and continue to fight for today. The theme this year is ‘Disability, Children and Youth’. This matters to me as I think disability in younger people is sometimes less recognised, especially for those with less visible disabilities. This theme also highlights the need for inclusive education systems that are accessible for children and young people with all kinds of disabilities. My journey through education as a disabled young person has been very difficult, and I strive to improve accessibility in the university, with the hope that future generations will experience fewer barriers in their education". 

How can my peers better support disabled students like me at University?

"You interact with disabled students on a day-to-day basis, whether you know it or not. Consider enrolling on the Student EDI Canvas Course, to learn more about the importance of inclusion and what you can do to help. Or why not check out the information on Why Accessibility Matters.

If you run a society or sports club, think about the inclusivity of your events and activities for disabled students - consider if someone with a physical impairment could attend, or someone with a sensory impairment, or a neurodivergent student? Ask the group if they have any accessibility requirements and then make adjustments and provide support to accommodate any disabled individuals.

If you’re a student rep, consider reaching out to disabled students in your School or College – find out what matters to them and raise any problems they might be facing in your discussions with staff.

Be kind, look out for others, educate yourself, and do your bit to help!". 

Disability History Month is taking place from Thursday 16 November to Saturday 16 December. You can get involved in many ways, explore what events are happening at the University.


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