Welcome to Disability History Scotland
Disability History Scotland is a disabled people’s organisation advocating the advancement of equality and diversity through the promotion of disability history, education and campaigning. We are committed to active participation, offering a view of history which includes disabled individuals and the many achievements they have made which, to this day, contribute to society.
We’ve mentioned Bella Freak *a lot* on this website, and won’t be stopping any time soon. But what is Bella Freak?
Was Bella Freak a show? Certainly. Our acclaimed HLF-backed Fringe show, Unwritten, was promoted under the Bella Freak banner. But Bella Freak is something more. It was started as a response to the lack of physical access to cultural spaces and events, as well as a recognition that the lives and stories of a wide section of Scottish society goes unheard.
The brand-spanking new Bella Freak section of the DHS website can be accessed here, or from the menu bar at the top of every page. This tells you more about Bella Freak, and about The Case for More Inclusive Festivals and Events: Still Not There, Yet!, the Big Lottery-funded research report on disabled access to arts and cultural events in Scotland.Read More
Bella Freak: Unwritten is challenging, and sometimes disquieting, performance piece about disability and impairment. We wanted to show the hidden history of Scotland for the first time, for a diverse audience of disabled and non-disabled members. To do this, Disability History Scotland applied for and received a £10,000 grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund, under their Stories, Stones & Bones programme. Without HLF’s support, Unwritten would not have been possible.
The history of impairment and disability, both in Scotland and globally, is the history of struggle against the Medical Model of Disability. This is the dominant model. Disabled people are seen as a problem to be “fixed” by medicine, surgery, therapy or special treatments. It becomes a personal tragedy when this does not happen. This powerful and pervasive view is reinforced in the news media, books, film, art and language. It is reflected in social policy and at every level of society.
Disability History Scotland has created three interactive timelines depicting disability throughout the years. These can be viewed by clicking on one of the buttons below: