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UK Disability History Month marked with launch of DisabledGo


The university is celebrating UK Disability History Month (22 November – 22 December) with a programme of events to engage and inform staff and students around issues of disability.

Dis History Month

The flagship event is the Leeds Beckett launch of the DisabledGo service, an online platform which provides in-depth information about accessibility for all who use the University.


Independent auditors from DisabledGo spent four months in 2017 documenting the buildings on both campuses to provide a space by space guide of most of the buildings and facilities. This detailed resource is available publicly on the DisabledGo website and empowers visitors, staff and students to identify and plan in advance.


Other events include a dance performance from the student-led Elevate Young Minds – a community arts network that fosters better understanding and helps to reduce the stigma of mental health for young people through art and movement.


The group will be performing in the Leslie Silver Building outside of the Gaia Coffee Bar with a panel discussion later in the day on the theme of ‘My Voice & My Art’.


Also, following on from a successful book launch in October, Senior Lecturer in Cultural Studies Dr James McGrath will also be sharing more insights from his book Naming Adult Autism: Culture, Science, Identity and providing the opportunity to purchase the book at a heavily discounted price of £23.50 (Normally £70)


Co-Chairs of the Leeds Beckett Disability Action Group, Christine Simpson and Kate Cunningham, said: “This is the fourth year our University has actively supported UK Disability History Month.


“This programme of dance, an academic book promotion and the DisabledGo launch event is a perfect reflection of the work the University is doing to improve access and develop understanding for our disabled staff, students and visitors.”


Events Programme:


Disability Awareness Module

Wednesday 22 November

The Library are re-enrolling all LLI staff on the online Introduction to Disability Awareness Module to raise awareness with their staff.  Campus and Residential Services staff will also be enrolled on the module as well as a ‘Tea and Talk’ session for frontline staff with Kate Cunningham, Disability Access and Study Skills Manager, early in the New Year.  


Elevate Young Minds -  My Voice & My Art | Disability Awareness 
Thursday 30 November, 12:00-14.00 – Drop in
Outside of the Gaia Cafe, Leslie Silver Building, City Campus

Dance performances from Edenamiuki Aiguobasinmwin and Chloe Hall.


Film and Panel Discussion
Rose Bowl Lecture Theatre G  

Short film screening of James Davidson’s ‘Dancing in the Dales’ and a panel discussion on approaches to raising awareness of and empowering disabled people. The discussion is hosted by Abdi Vibes and features VP Welfare & Community Kelly-Anne Watson, dance practitioner Hayley Graham and performance artist Chloe Hall.


International Day of Disabilities
Sunday 3 December, All day - Leeds Beckett Library Web Pages

To mark the occasion, the Leeds Beckett Library will be providing links to engaging and relevant research and articles to tie in with the theme of Disability and Art.


DisabledGo Launch Event – Refreshments, talk and demonstration
Monday 4 December, 16:30 – 18:00
Rose Bowl Lecture Theatre D

We are pleased to announce that Deputy Vice Chancellor Paul Smith will be launching the service, followed by a talk on the University’s strategy towards access, quality and diversity as well as a demonstration of the resource from DisabledGo’s Amy Waumsley.


DisabledGo Information Stand
Tuesday 5 December, 11:00-14:00
Student Hub, Headingley Campus

For anyone unable to make the launch event at City Campus, the Disability Advice team will be manning a stand in the Student Hub on Headingley Campus to provide more information about the service.


Naming Adult Autism: Culture, Science, Identity – Dr James McGrath
Thursday 7 December, 12:00-13:30; light lunch provided and conversation starts at 12:30

The Acre Room, Headingley Campus

James’s work focuses on Literature and Autism and his recently published book Naming Adult Autism is one of the first critiques of cultural and medical narratives of Autism to be authored by an adult diagnosed with the condition. Attendees of this event will have the opportunity to purchase the book at a promotional price of £23.50 (normally £70).


Further Reading

If you would like to engage further with the topic then Senior Lecture in Childhood Studies, Dr Alison Wilde has written a number of thought-provoking articles for Disability Arts Online. Alison is currently completing a book on the topic of film, comedy and disability as well as writing papers on young peoples’ experiences of viewing ‘disability films’.

You can read her film reviews of Baby Driver, Kills on Wheels and more here.

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