18th November – 18th December 2021 is Disability History Month. Running for its 12th year, the aim is to celebrate the lives of disabled people now and from the past, challenging oppression and achieving equality.
In the past, disabled people were blamed for their disability, people believed they were incapable of adult relationships and even believed that disabled people are being punished by God. Even though in today’s society the mindset has expanded and views have changed, there is still so much work to be done to help disabled people achieve equality, which is why Disability History Month is important.
Disability comes in many forms and can be invisible / hidden. With disabled people often facing discrimination, many people who have an invisible impairment choose to hide it from the world, which can ultimately hinder their diagnosis process. 13.5 million disabled people in the UK have hidden impairments.
In honour of Disability History Month, it’s important to highlight inspiring and motivating stories. Dance company and charity People Dancing, based in Leicester, is an organisation focused on bringing inclusivity and a sense of community to the dance space.
The company set up a project called 11 Million Reasons, a photography exhibition and short film programme set up in 2014. Featuring deaf, sight impaired, and disabled dancers, the project has been touring internationally and has developed into training programmes in and around the UK, helping to support diversity in dance.
The project, seen by half a million people worldwide, can be viewed in full here.