UK Disability History Month 2023 (16 November-26 December) focuses on the experience of disablement among children and young people throughout the ages. The aim of the event is to tackle the stigma and stereotypes that can lead to social exclusion and isolation of disabled people in our society.

Throughout history disabled children and young people have been subject to bullying, prejudice, and segregation, and faced institutional neglect and discrimination. Much progress has been made towards equality and inclusion over the past 50 years in the UK and other nations around the world.

Even so, the challenging financial circumstances of the past 15 years have meant that in many areas young disabled people are still not well supported. Harassment and bullying of disabled people has also increased, with a rise in the number of hate crimes reported over the past few years. 

In a statement on their website, the organisers of this year’s event said: “UKDHM 2023 provides an opportunity for all councils, service providers, education establishments, youth, play and sports organisations, health providers and employers to examine their approaches to disabled children and youth.”

“Those in the media, publishing and image making can challenge the way they have portrayed disabled people in the past and create inclusive and non-stereotypical ways forward, in conjunction with disabled young people.”

The UKDHM adopts the Social Model approach that encompasses the Human Rights Act. The Social Model was first developed by the academic Mike Oliver in 1983 as an alternative to the ‘medical model of disability’ that has previously defined the narrative of how disabled people are viewed by institutions and society.

The aim was to shift the focus from the impairment or condition of the individual, and to turn it on the barriers that they face in society. This removes the false distinction between what is considered to be ‘normal’ and what is considered to be divergent from those norms. 

This helps people to understand that disabled people’s problems do not lie within themselves, but within the way that society is organised. This has led to progress in making the UK a more accessible and inclusive society for everybody. 

A major milestone was the introduction of the Disability Discrimination Act (1995), now consolidated into the Equality Act 2010. This has led to the rights and protections of disabled people being enshrined into law.  

The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities has broadened the ‘social model’ perspective into enforceable human rights in 2006, but the reality is that most disabled people in the UK are still at a huge social, education and economic disadvantage. 

Disability rights organisations claim that many organisations still pay lip service to the laws rather than make a true effort to comply with them. This can be especially true for wheelchair users who still have to fight for fair access to public transport and other public places.

If you are looking for a 25 stone recliner chair, please visit our website today.