Keep building on our proud history

Disabled campaigners have been fighting and challenging injustice, oppression and discrimination for decades.

Disability campaigners outside Woolwich Town Hall protesting about social care charges

“In our view it is society which disables people. Disability is something imposed on top of our impairments, by the way we are unnecessarily isolated and excluded from full participation in society.”
Vic Finkelstein 

The rights we have today are a result of decades of tireless campaigning by Disabled people from the workhouse to the workplace, from charity to human rights from ‘care’ to independent living.

We have come along way. But today Disabled people are experiencing increasing levels of inequality, poverty, exclusion, and discrimination. It’s our responsibility, therefore, to keep building on our proud history and to carry on fighting for equality, inclusion and fairness. 

Timeline of our movement

  • 1974: Union of the Physically Impaired Against Segregation (UPIAS)
  • Early 1980s The first UK Centres for Independent Living (CILs) established in Hampshire, Derbyshire and Greenwich.
  • British Council of Disabled People (BCODP) established
  • 1988: “People First’ founded.
  • 1990: The first Black Disabled People’s Network and several black mental health users groups are founded.
  • 1990: Campaign for Accessible Transport (CAT) is one of the first Disabled people’s groups to use direct action.
  • 1991: Regard LGBT DDPO founded
  • 1993: Disability Action Network (DAN) set up & carried out over 100 protest actions over the next 5 years.
  • 1996: BCODP establishes the National Centre for Independent Living (NCIL) to promote independent living options for disabled people
  • 2010: Disabled People Against Cuts set up
  • Direct action against ATOS, closure of the Independent Living Fund, and Department of Work and Pensions sanctions
  • National Independent Living Service – Our vision for independent living