26 November 2014
Oral history for Disability History Month
UK Disability History Month is an annual event which takes places between 22 November and 22 December. The 'Disability Voices' collection on British Library Sounds includes interviews from a number of partnership oral history collections archived at the British Library. The interviews available come from partnership projects with Scope ('Speaking for Ourselves: An Oral History of People with Cerebral Palsy'), Hearing Link ('Unheard Voices: Interviews With Deafened People'), The Alliance for Inclusive Education (ALLFIE) ('Oral Histories of Disabled People's Experiences of Education'), and also a selection of interviews with Paralympians from the British Library funded oral history collection 'Oral History of British Athletics', a rolling programme of life story interviews with British athletes which started in 1996.
In the following extract Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson talks about the social model of disability and trying to change people's attitudes to disabled people.
Interviews recorded for Speaking for Ourselves, Unheard Voices and Oral Histories of Disabled People's Experiences of Education were all funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund and were peer projects, which involved training volunteer interviews to interview others within their community. The Unheard Voices project also interviewed family members. In the following extract Tony Rugg talks about the value of the project as a research resource but also for the family members of deafened people.
Image: Unheard Voices project volunteers at a training day at the British Library. Photo by Chris McGlashon.