From education to employment

UK Parliament launches new educational resources to mark Disability History Month

Credit: Ananya Rao-Middleton_© UK Parliament

UK Parliament is launching a new pack of educational resources to celebrate Disability History Month which runs from 18th November to 20th December.

Illustrated by Ananya Rao-Middleton, the downloadable book includes six stories exploring the lives of people who have influenced disability laws and rights in the UK. The resource is suitable for teachers, home educators and parents to share with children aged seven to 11.

Among those featured are Dame Anne Begg, one of the first wheelchair users in the House of Commons and Ben Purse, whose activism led to the first law in the world to support the working rights of people with a disability.

Other people included are the artist and diversity champion Deborah Williams, disabled suffragette Rosa May Billinghurst, Lord Alf Morris and Baroness Jane Campbell. Their stories are complimented by activities which encourage children to think about how to make the games they play more inclusive.

This is the latest in a series of educational resources provided by Parliament. In October, as part of Black History Month Parliament launched a resource containing stories of influential black Britons who have impacted UK laws and equal rights. Similar resources are also being developed on LGBT and Women’s history.

Sir Lindsay Hoyle, Speaker of the House of Commons said:

“I am so pleased that Parliament is marking Disability History Month this year. These innovative resources are a brilliant way for young people to learn about and celebrate the valuable contributions of people who have impacted disability rights and laws in the UK.

It is so important that we not only recognise these achievements, but also strive to make Parliament a more inclusive and accessible space for those with disabilities.” 

The Lord Speaker, Lord Fowler said:

“Marking Disability History Month at Parliament helps us remember how far we’ve come and how far we’ve still got to go with equal rights for disabled people. I’m proud that Baroness (Jane) Campbell of Surbiton, who serves in the House of Lords today, is featured in this brilliant new pack. I hope these stories will be an inspiration to young people who want to fight for change”

UK Parliament has worked alongside the Shaw Trust to produce the pack and some of the stories also feature people who are part of the Shaw Trust Foundation Power 100 list.

Chris Luck, CEO and Clare Gray, Organisational Lead for Disability Advocacy from the Shaw Trust said:

“Shaw Trust has welcomed the opportunity to be involved in the creation of this educational resource. The Power 100 list produced by Shaw Trust highlights the ongoing work of people from the disabled community who continue to impact the current and future legislation for disability rights. All young people benefit from having role models to inspire and to develop their future leadership potential to influence changes for the benefit of everyone”

Illustrator Ananya Rao-Middleton said:

As an illustrator and chronic illness activist, working with Parliament on the Your Story, Our History book has enabled me to delve into the exciting, varied and powerful lives of UK figures who have stood out in making a difference in the lives of disabled people.

“As someone living with chronic conditions myself, working on this book has fortified my belief that change is possible and that as disabled people we are powerful and capable of being change-makers. Whilst we still have a lot of work to do to make our society disability-friendly in all areas, I feel determined that by inspiring young people with books like Your Story, Our History we can create the changes needed to reach this vision”

Related Articles