Sep 212011
 

PR E S S  S T A T E M E N T

UKDHM Celebrating Our Struggle for Equality

UK Disability History Month is holding a Pre-Launch for 2011 on Thursday 22nd September  at the TUC,  Great Russell Street, WC1  from 5pm to 6.30 pm. Please  come.

This is a crucial time to celebrate the contribution of disabled people to our society, now and in the past. We seem to be under attack on all sides with cuts in our livelihood, benefits and housing. We are made out to be cheats and liars in parts of the popular press. Hate crime is on the increase as we are increasingly picked upon to vent people’s frustrations with the current economic situation.

Yet disabled people have always made a terrific contribution to humanity. Think of just a few from history-Julius Cesar, Milton, Isaac Newton, Beethoven, Horatio Nelson, Emily Dickenson, Harriet Tubman, Florence Nightingale,  Albert Einstein, Helen Keller, Franklin Roosevelt, Winston Churchill, Van Gogh, Frida Khalo, Virginia Wolfe, Paul Klee and Alan Turing  to see our impact.  More recently, David Blunkett MP , Ian Dury, Richard Branson, Stephen Fry, Bill Gates, Dame Tanni Grey Thompson, Dame Jane Campbell, Lord Low, Alison Lapper, Evelyn Glennie, Oscar Pretorius, Betty Jackson, Stevie Wonder are a tiny proportion of those who have made a difference and would count as disabled people under the Equalities Act.

Disability History Month 22nd November to 22nd December is already supported by more than 80 organisations. It provides an annual focus for the wider community to develop a more positive attitude towards disabled people and better understand the barriers we face in society, which despite improvements in recent years, is still largely hostile to us.

Schools, colleges, workplaces, trade unions, councils, community and disabled people’s organisations throughout the UK will be holding events to celebrate UKDHM, discover our history and to challenge the negative stereotypes that lead to discrimination.

At the pre-launch contributors will be :- Penny Bechizza-Being Deaf now and in the past,, Michelle Daley-Black  disabled experience in the UK, Micheline Mason, poet-  ‘Sorry I don’t Have the Time’, Katherine Quarmby- author of ‘Scapegoat’,   Richard Rieser-UKDHM 2011, Dr. Sonali Shah,-author of  ‘Living as a Disabled Person 1940s,1960s,1980s ’

For more information on UKDHM go to website http://www.ukdisabilityhistorymonth.com or  contact Richard Rieser, UKDHM Co-ordinator  07715420727 or email rlrieser@gmail.com