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Let’s Talk About Disability History

In this instalment of 'Let's Talk About Disability', we are talking about disability history.

Annually during November/December (exact dates change) UK Disability History Month is celebrated; this year it's 16 November - 16 December 2022. This creates a platform to focus on the history of disabled people's struggle for equality and human rights.

Not familiar with this instalment's theme? Find out more by clicking below:

Why November and December?

UK Disability History Month runs across November and December every year. This covers HIV/AIDS Day (1 December), International Day of People with Disabilities (3 December), and International Human Rights Day (10 December). It also follows on from Anti-Bullying Week (annually in November) which is important as 2.5 times as much bullying is recorded towards disabled people as compared to non-disabled young people (70-80% of young disabled people claim to have been bullied in school and college).

UKDHM has been running since 2010, and has seen a steady increase in interest and activity since that time.


Jenny Wheeler, Estates Accessibility Officer has created a comprehensive guide on how Estates are working with others at Warwick to improve access. Over the course of Disability History Month 2020, they celebrated how far we have come at Warwick and shared what we are busy working on to continue to develop an inclusive environment at the University - find out more about how Estates are making changes here.


Find wellbeing support for staff and students:

Disability History reading list

A reading list for Disability History Month has been created by Kat Waters (Academic Support Librarian for History) and members of the Disability Taskforce, including representatives from Equality, Diversity & Inclusion, WarwickEnable and the Disabled Staff Network. Additional support and suggestions were provided by Laura Waller and Julie Robinson (The Library).

The Library are keen to receive recommendations for additional items from the wider Warwick community. If you would like to suggest a book, article, film, TV or radio broadcast, podcast, or other resource, please contact Jane Dashwood, Library Disability Support Officer ( ). You are also welcome to send any comments and feedback.

Modern Records Centre resources

Melissa Downing, Widening Participation Officer, has created an online exhibition of records from the MRC documenting ‘Disability and Work’ after the First and Second World Wars, when soldiers injured in combat were supported to return to the workplace.

Liz Wood, MRC Archivist, has created an extensive research guide around Disability History in the MRC archives.

Please note archives at the Modern Records Centre include historical terminology used to describe medical conditions or aspects of disability. This language reflects the context in which the material was created, and may be considered offensive today.

Sunflower lanyard

Wearing the Hidden Disabilities Sunflower lanyard is a discreet way to choose to make the invisible visible. It discreetly indicates to people that the wearer may need additional support, help or a little more time.

Students' Union

Find out more about the work of the Students' Union Disabled Students’ Officer and Warwick Enable - the disability liberation and campaigning society on campus for disabled students, their friends, allies and carers or enablers, and anyone who is passionate about disability and inclusivity.

Staff Network

Join the Disabled Staff Network. The network is open to all staff members with an interest in making the University a more accessible place for all and creating a more inclusive environment.


If you feel that you need a Personal Emergency Evacuation Plan (PEEP) for safe evacuation of a building in an emergency the Independent Assessment Tool will help the University identify the appropriate emergency response requirements and the assistance you may require.


Get adjustments to support you in your work or studies.

  • Adjustments for staff: MAP is a tool to help you to have meaningful and confidential conversations with your line manager or other University representative.
  • Adjustments for students: Disability Services can support you to access a range of adjustments, exam arrangements, advice, and one to one study skills support.

BDF Resources

As members of the Business Disability Forum, the University has access to a range of Member Resources including toolkits, factsheets, case studies, videos, and webinars to help you understand more about how to be disability inclusive. Just sign up with your University email address to get a free account.

Membership also grants us unlimited access to BDF's confidential Advice Service, a team of expert advisers who are enthusiastic about improving disabled people’s experiences of employment and users of services.