Disability Activism Bristol: a History is a part of the Forging Our Future project.  It was funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund 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 some of the Disabled activists who campaigned for equality and independent living and worked to see the Social Model implemented in Bristol’s services.  Members of the young people’s Research Group 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 the stories on this website, to  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. 

These stories have also been used to inform a set of digital learning activities aimed at secondary schools.  This learning pack was developed by Ruth Myers of Local Learning and Daisy Holder.  (add web link on the website and to Local Learning) 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 MShed which also tells the story of Disability Activism Bristol.

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