Resource celebrates disability champions

Written by: Pete Henshaw | Published:
Champions: Both Rosa May Billinghurst (right), a disabled suffragette, and Deborah Williams (left) an artist and diversity champion feature in the new UK Parliament resource (illustrations: Ananya Rao-Middleton/UK Parliament)

​A new pack of resources from the UK Parliament is helping primary schools celebrate Disability History Month, which runs until December 20.

Illustrated by Ananya Rao-Middleton, the downloadable book includes six stories exploring the lives of people who have influenced disability laws and rights in the UK.

The resource is suitable for teachers, home educators and parents to share with children aged seven to 11.

Among those featured are Dame Anne Begg, one of the first wheelchair users in the House of Commons, and Ben Purse, whose activism led to the first law in the world to support the working rights of people with a disability.

Other people included are the artist and diversity champion Deborah Williams, disabled suffragette Rosa May Billinghurst, Lord Alf Morris and Baroness Jane Campbell. Their stories are complemented by activities which encourage children to think about how to make the games they play more inclusive.

This is the latest in a series of educational resources provided by Parliament. In October, as part of Black History Month Parliament launched a resource containing stories of influential black Britons who have impacted UK laws and equal rights.

Similar resources are also being developed on LGBT and women’s history.

Making history: The activism of Ben Purse led to the first law in the world to support the working rights of people with a disability; Rosa May Billinghurst was a disabled suffragette; and Deborah Williams is an artist and diversity champion. Images reproduced courtesy of Ananya Rao-Middleton/UK Parliament

Sir Lindsay Hoyle, the speaker of the House of Commons, said: “These innovative resources are a brilliant way for young people to learn about and celebrate the valuable contributions of people who have impacted disability rights and laws in the UK. It is so important that we not only recognise these achievements, but also strive to make Parliament a more inclusive and accessible space for those with disabilities.”

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