Disability History Month at Kent: Sharing our stories, raising awareness, improving inclusion

photos of 4 people and the UKDHM logo

What is Disability History Month?

Disability History Month (DHM) is a yearly nationwide celebration from 18 November to 18 December, which was started to shine a spotlight on historical and current achievements and issues to do with disability. UKDHM is the national organisation which strives to celebrate the lives of disabled people; challenge disablism or stigma around disability; and achieve equality.

UKDHM ascribes to the social model of disability, an idea first proposed by Kent alumnus and professor Mike Oliver, in the 1980s. This is the now widely accepted idea that much of the difficulty of being disabled is due to societal failure to adapt for disabled people. At Kent we actively work to seek to acknowledge and remove those barriers to create a more inclusive and accessible environment for everyone. We provide expert support for students with disabilities, chronic conditions, specific learning difficulties, autism and mental health conditions within our Student Support and Wellbeing team at any point during their studies.

DHM at Kent

The University of Kent and Kent Union are proud to collaborate to amplify the voices of disabled people within our community to educate everyone on the issues people with visible and invisible disabilities continue to face, so we can further de-stigmatise and work together for a more inclusive and equal society.

The full programme is available on the Kent Union website, and all events are open to students and staff, and free to attend.

Some key highlights include: a discussion with a debut novelist, Kent Alumnus and disability activist Chloe Timms; a creative workshop where you can try Finger Casting and foil embossing, the inspirational speaker and paralympic skier Millie KnightDisability Workshop at Medway which discusses and explains the campus provisions, and a fun interactive workshop to look at Accessibility and Ideas for Inclusion to improve your work and study.

Our Stories: Tuesday 6 December

  • 5-6pm: Exhibition viewing in Marlowe Building Foyer, refreshments available
  • 6pm-6.30pm: Film shorts screening in Marlowe Lecture Theatre 1

As part of Disability History Month 2022, we’ve been in the Templeman Library archives researching the history and progress of disability provision and communication from the first cohort of students and staff at the University of Kent in 1965, to the present day. Check out the timeline online, or head over to the Marlowe foyer from Thursday 24 November to see it hanging as a physical display.

We’ve also created a collection of short films featuring students, staff and alumni on their experiences of disability, all captioned and signed in British Sign Language, which will be screened at 6pm on Tuesday 6 December in Marlowe Lecture Theatre 1. Book your free place on Eventbrite to join current and former students and staff for free refreshments to view the exhibition from 5pm, and stay for the film screening.


We hope you enjoy the programme and that you use it as a starting point for deeper thought and conversations with your friends and colleagues. Follow #DHMKent22 and #InclusiveKent on social media for the latest, and if you would like to contribute your experience and perspective to conversations, podcasts or articles on this theme during the month, please email StudentServicesWeb@kent.ac.uk.

Written by Natalia Crisanti, Student Services, 14.11.22

Check out further articles on Disability and Inclusion.