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Looking Back At The Teaching Of Disability History

Looking Back At The Teaching Of Disability History

The University Of Sheffield is conducting a major project on disability in the past – and is hoping for your help.

Its History Department is working on the study about disability and the British Empire and part of this involves finding out what people learnt about the subject – and disability in general – during their education.

Senior lecturer Dr Esme Cleall said: “I’m interested in thinking about the way in which disability history is taught – or sometimes not taught at all – in schools. In particular, I’m interested in thinking through what it meant to be disabled in the past. What stories about disability in the past can we tell that are helpful in understanding disability today and what knowledge about the past can help support and empower disabled people’s movements today?”

She invites disabled people of all ages to contribute in order to get as many viewpoints as possible – but is particularly hoping to form a focus group made up of young people at some point in the near future to make sure their views are represented. There is no specific deadline for people wishing to get in touch but Esme hopes to be able to soon set up an email list and hold meetings with those taking part. “My hope is that the key output from this work would be a set of resources to be used in schools,” added Esme.

The entire project is entitled Colonising Disability: Race and Impairment in the British Empire 1800-1914 and there are plans to produce a book on this once the study is completed.

If you would like to be involved in building this educational resource please contact Esme by emailing e.r.cleall@sheffield.ac.uk

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