One of the key figures in the disabled people’s movement has come out of retirement to deliver a stinging rebuke to “parasitic” disability charities.
Professor Mike Oliver (pictured), the disabled academic who first defined the “social model of disability”, was speaking at an event hosted by the University of Kent last night (Wednesday), as part of UK Disability History Month.
Those speaking at the launch included disabled comedian, activist and trainer Barbara Lisicki, who spoke about – and displayed – some of the tee-shirts designed and worn by members of the Disabled People’s Direct Action Network (DAN), and disabled artists Tanya Raabe-Webber and Tony Heaton.
Shadow chancellor John McDonnell spoke of the importance of challenging stereotypes and how austerity had made it harder for disabled people to “fulfil their artistic ambitions and articulate their views about society” and how they face discrimination.
In his speech in Kent yesterday, Oliver warned of the risk that disabled people’s shared history was being “rewritten” by charities and politicians to “suit their own interests and agendas”.