UK Disability History Month is an annual platform which creates a focus on the history and current lived experiences of disabled people. It is a celebration of achievement and positive influence as well as an acknowledgment of the many struggles for recognition, equality, and genuine inclusion within our communities and society.
2020 is the 11th year since the creation of UK Disability History Month and the spotlight this year is Access. The demands from disabled people for access in all its forms should not come as a surprise to society. Equality of participation, regardless of impairment is a fundamental human right.
Championing the initiative, The Ivors Academy’s Disabled Neurodiversity Working Group’s Jo Thomas, Emily Saunders, Imogen Williams and Alexander Campkin have said:
Disability History Month is a time of reflection, recognition, and celebration.
Historically, disability has occupied an uncomfortable place in music. For many who work in music, impairments are hidden and silent. Doors have been shut, stages inaccessible and empathy invisible. Today, here and now, as disabled music creators we are loud and bold, and determined to make positive change.
We celebrate the brilliant achievements of disabled songwriters, composers and musicians within our own community and communities around us. We acknowledge the rapidly changing circumstances which disabled musicians encounter as Covid 19 exacerbates long-term inequalities.
We reflect on the hardships that disabled musicians often experience, including barriers to access, and we are committed to raising awareness of what the music industry can do to promote fairness.
As creators we know that music belongs to every one of us.
We are united in our call for change.
The Ivors Academy are collaborating with The Musicians’ Union and their established Disabled Members Network on a number of activities throughout the month. These include a series of commissioned blog posts by members from both organisations, as well as an online panel event on 14 December chaired by Academy Board Director Jo Thomas, taking place to discuss the practical issues around access.
Find out more about the Academy’s commitments to championing equality, diversity and inclusion and our 2020-2022 Action Plan.