UK Disability History Month runs from 16 November to 16 December and aims to promote disabled people’s rights and their struggle for equality now and in the past.
This year’s theme is Disability, Children and Youth and to coincide with this Surrey History Centre (SHC) has announced a collaboration with Professor Jane Hamlett from Royal Holloway, University of London’s History Department working on a project to uncover and share the histories of children at schools for the deaf and blind.
From the early twentieth century some of the leading residential schools for the deaf and blind were based in Surrey, including the Royal School for the Blind, Nutfield Priory and Burwood School. When the schools closed in the 1980s and 1990s their records were accessioned by SHC.
The research team will carry out a new archival survey of this material, uncovering historical experience from the archives. The project aims to use participatory research to create a new historical narrative about these children’s lives, through collaboration with charities who work with young people with learning disabilities. The research will be used to inform a new guide to history of disability on SHC’s website Exploring Surrey’s Past and a new audio resource that will narrate stories from the archives.
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