Disability Activism Bristol

Bristol Disability Equality Forum commissioned Local Learning to produce a learning resource as part of the National Lottery Heritage Funded Forging Our Future project.

Forging Our Future, Resistance, Change and Leadership in Bristol’s Disability Movement

  • A project led by Bristol Disability Equality Forum
  • Funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund
  • Working with Bristol Museums Service

This learning resource has been co-created by the Forum, Ruth Myers of from Myers-Insole Local Learning CIC and Disability history researcher and Forum Co-Chair,  Daisy Holder .

The free learning resource can be accessed HERE.

The first Disabled people led protest at the Arnolfini in 1989

Disability Activism Bristol aims to tell the story of the Disabled People’s movement in Bristol from the 1980’s to 2010. 

Bristol was a central place for Disability activism during this period and the Social Model of Disability became widely used here long before it did in many other cities. But this history has not been written before.  Forging Our Future was developed to fill this gap.

A group of young Disabled people got together to gather the stories of Disabled activists who campaigned for equality and independent living and worked to see the Social Model implemented in Bristol’s services.  They had training in research and oral history interviewing skills, and then they interviewed 15 people who had played key roles in the Disabled People’s movement in Bristol.

The activists’ stories have been edited into stories that convey the work they did, the struggles they had, and the achievements and successes that have changed attitudes, provision and the built environment in Bristol – and beyond. We have used these stories to inform digital learning activities aimed at secondary school and beyond

The project has been fortunate to work in partnership with Bristol Culture who have developed a display in the ‘We Make Bristol’ gallery at Bristol’s M Shed which also tells the story of Disability Activism Bristol.

For further information about Disability Activism in Bristol: pioneers, protests and progress from the 1980s to now, display at M Shed, click here.