Disability history collection launched online

by Chris Scales, Archive Officer

To celebrate Disability History Month we have teamed up with Southwark Disablement Association (SDA) and Southwark Resource Centre to launch a new series online of documents from the archives that tell the story of disability services in Southwark.

The new collection is hosted on the Internet Archive and includes records of the SDA from its founding in 1978 onwards including its Newsletter, Annual Reports and Handbooks on local disabled services in Southwark. All of the records can be read and searched through online, and will be of particular interest for learning about the history of disability during the 1970s to 1990s.

Taxicab Dial-A-Ride Scheme, 1986

Through the SDA records we learn about how the organisation played a key role in piloting the GLC’s new Taxi Card Holders scheme in 1983, as well as taking part in protests in Central London over disabled rights such as the rally in Trafalgar Square in 1990.

Southwark Disablement Association at the Disability Benefits Rally, Trafalgar Square, 20th October 1990. The rally was held concurrently with two others across the UK in Manchester and Glasgow (Frank Roper/SDA)

The resources launched with Southwark Resource Centre include the book Speaking For Ourselves, which was written and dictated in 1983 by service users of the Aylesbury Day Centre and tells of their experiences at the centre:

The new collection can be browsed online by clicking this link.

We hope to add more resources over the coming months. If you have any records you wish to add to the collection please email us.