Next week sees the start of UK Disability History Month
(22 November - 22 December), with events around the country focusing on the annual theme: Celebrating Our Struggle for Independent Living: No Return to the Institution or Isolation
. This disabled led organisation aims to offer activists an opportunity to explore the history of attitudes and how disabled people's lives have been marked by change. Particularly, they note, current challenges to independent living in the form of benefit cuts make an apt moment to consider the history of supported living, from the medieval alms and poor laws to the modern day. Events include a three-day accessibility symposium at UCL in early December, the Together Arts Festival
at various venues across the London Borough of Newham and a Lambeth Social Event
on 7 December. For full details, visit the Disability History Month website
This week is also the first ever Schizophrenia Awareness Week
. Launched by mental health charity Rethink Mental Illness, this event aims to bring tackle the widespread ignorance, fear and misunderstanding around the diagnosis. Recent misleading newspaper headlines are sadly not isolated instances of prejudiced attitudes, which can also be found in mainstream television and film. This week, Rethink will share stories of support to challenge these views, in a Stand Up for Schizophrenia campaign.