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Disability History Month

26 April 2013

Disability History Month 2021 runs from 18 November to 18 December.

Disability History Month is supported by a wide range of disability groups, unions and voluntary organisations, and aims to promote disabled people's rights and their struggle for equality now and in the past.

DHM 2021 - Relationship and sex. disability and hidden impairment : This link opens in a new window The theme for this year's disability history month is 'Relationship and Sex. Disability and Hidden Impairment'. This year's UKDHM focuses on two enduring stereotypes that make disabled people's lives more difficult and act as a barrier to our inclusion 

Events to mark UK Disability History Month will be held around the UK and further information can be obtained from

UKDHM Broadsheet 2021 [2mb]


Previous year's themes

Disability History Month theme for 2020

The theme for 2020 disability history month was 'Disability: Leadership, Research and Culture'. The focus was on disabled leaders throughout history and their struggle for acceptance.

Day of action for disability equality in education 2019

UCU held a Day of Action for Disability Equality in Education which kicked off UCU's action for Disability History Month 2019.

Visit for further information on how to get involved.

Disability History Month theme for 2018

UKDHM 2018 will focus on disability and music. 

The aim is to explore the links between the experience of disablement in a world where the barriers faced by people with impairments can be overwhelming. Yet the creative impulse, urge for self expression and the need to connect to our fellow human beings often 'trumps' the oppression, as disabled people have faced, do face and will face in the future. Each culture and sub-culture creates identity and defines itself by its music. 'Music is the language of the soul. To express ourselves we have to be vibrating, radiating human beings!' Alasdair Fraser.

  Disability History Month 2018 [2mb]  Disability History Month 2018 [3mb]

  Disability History Month poster [46kb]

UCU disabled members' took part in a photo montage at the annual Disabled members' conference in December 2016 to mark Disability History Month: Disability History Month 2016 - member montage [2mb]

DHM 2017 montage

The challenges

Achieving equal rights has happened because disabled people have organised through their trade unions, community groups and organisations. These rights are now under attack because of the huge cuts in public spending and blatant ideological attack on benefits which support disabled people to work or live with dignity without work.  Some disabled people are prevented from working because of the negative attitudes and prejudice of employers.  The Disability History Month helps support UCU's priority of equal and fair treatment at work and our wider agenda of equal rights in all aspects of our lives.

International Disability Day - wall chart UCU marked Disability History Month 2010 through our disability wallchart. International Day of Disabled People - UCU wall chart [4mb]

UCU has also produced a film as a contribution to Disability History Month). We have aimed to make this film accessible to all members and welcome any feedback. Please use this film to commemorate disability history and as a trade union and teaching resource to raise awareness of the importance of the social model of disability.

Please send any comments to Sharon Russell, Equality Support Official for Disability



Last updated: 17 November 2021