Celebrating Disability Pride 2017

mage of the clasped hands of the late great disability activist and poet Barbara Stewart.

Image of the clasped hands of the late great disability activist and poet Barbara Stewart.

On Friday 1st, Saturday 2nd and Sunday 3rd December we will be celebrating disability pride in York. On Friday night at York St John University we are planning a showcase of disability art performances from international, national and local artists that will including comedy, theatre, spoken word and music. Then on Saturday and Sunday we will be at York Explore with a two day festival of disability arts and debate, including music, dance, drama, arts, debate and a pop up cinema. Supported by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation’s York Committee and working in partnership with York Explore, York Human Rights City and others, we at York Independent Living Network are proud and excited to be marking disability pride 2017 in this way.  We’d love you to be part of this so watch this space for further details and we look forward to welcoming you over this weekend of disability pride and power. Read More.

Celebrating Disability Pride 2017 – update

Excitingly, I heard this week that a recent application we made to the JRF York Committee has been successful.  This is to celebrate disability pride in York, through us hosting an event and running a series of connected activities on international day of disabled people (3 Dec), and throughout Disability History Month (end Nov – end Dec).

This will include;

A celebration event with performances and workshops by local, national and international disabled activists and artists, including, poetry, stand up, music and debate.

A disability film festival showcasing a range of material and facilitated debate about the representation and narrative of disabled people.

A disability open art exhibition calling for entries by disabled and non disabled artists to submit.

A disability history workshop with local emphasis and connecting to the York Explore archive resource.

A local organising event to explore current issues for disabled people and action planning to address these.

Our approach will be to invite local disabled people and groups to participate and contribute to the delivery of the above, as well as inviting national and international disability artists and activists to present and perform.

In July we held an initial planning meeting with our colleagues from Explore York and York Human Rights City, the notes of which are avaliable here.  We will be holding a further  meeting on 19th Sept, 930 – 11, Room K/G33, Kings Manor, University of York, Exhibition Square, York, YO1 7EP where we will discuss the above plans and begin the process of organising it all.

If you would like to attend the meeting on the 19th please book via this eventbrite link here, If you have any ideas and thoughts or want to get involved please do get in touch with Stephen by email admin@yiln.org.uk or phone 07951050153.

Finally, we would like to say a big thanks to the JRF York Committee for support us.



Celebrating Disability Pride 2017 – Open Planning Meeting

Celebrating Disability Pride 2017 – Open Planning Meeting Weds 19th July, 10am, at York Explore.

Each 3rd December marks International Day of Disabled People. The day is promoted by the United Nations and celebrated across the globe to increase public awareness, understanding and acceptance, and to celebrate the achievements and contributions made by disabled people. Around the same time is also Disability History Month that seeks to reveal an often hidden history of disabled people, by themselves in their voices and from their experience.

Both events are not only an opportunity for everyone to celebrate disability pride, but also to explore the very real challenges and barriers that can disable people who live with impairments. By disabled people and people who live with impairments we refer to the social model and include a broad range of issues, i.e. mental health, learning difficulties, physical, sensory and other impairments, chronic illness and other health related issues.

Last year in York, a partnership group made of the York Independent Living Network, York Explore, International Service and York Human Rights City put on a one day event at Explore (central library) to mark International Day of Disabled People last December.

Our short film, the ‘International Day of Disabled People 2016 in York’ shows some of the highlights from the day. The day was A great success. We are planning to do something similar this year and are holding an open meeting from 10 to 11.30am on Wednesday 19 July at York Explore where we will show the film and begin planning. Our hope is that more and more individuals and organisations get involved in running and attending events and that these become part of York’s annual calendar. We are therefore keen to hear from like minded people and organisations either by your attendance on 19th July or by getting in touch. Please contact admin@yiln.org.uk or 07752 365 297 (leave a message with your name and contact details)

If you’d like to attend or get involved, you’d be most welcome.

Please let us know in advance if you can any access requirements. York Explore is fully accessible to anyone with mobility impairments. It also has a hearing loop system (but needs to know in advance so that it can set this up). If you need signers or any other access facilities we will need notice to get these organised. Please let us know by Tuesday 10 July.

To book on the event: Click Here


How can I contact the organiser with any questions?

Please contact York Independent Living Network: admin@yiln.org.uk or 07752 365 297 (leave a message with your name and contact details)

Is this meeting fully accessible?

Please let us know in advance if you can any access requirements. York Explore is fully accessible to anyone with mobility impairments. It also has a hearing loop system (but needs to know in advance so that it can set this up). If you need signers or any other access facilities we will need notice to get these organised. Please let us know by Tuesday 10 July.

Do I have to bring my printed ticket to the event?


Care Quality Commission (CQC)

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) are seeking responses from people living with a disability on their experience of using the services that they regulate; hospitals, GP surgeries, care homes, care at home services, for example.  There are only 5 questions, you can answer anonymously and your answers will help the CQC’s aim of  improving the overall quality of care in England.  Please follow this link to their website.

York St John University – Disability Confident employer

York St John University is a Disability Confident employer.  We recruit on an ongoing basis for a wide range of vacancies, including academic, administration, domestic and maintenance roles.  Please visit our website https://www.yorksj.ac.uk/jobs/ to view our current vacancies and find out more about life at York St John University and the benefits of working here. 

#yorkdisabilitydoodle2016 – What future do we want? Does our language matter?


#yorkdisabilitydoodle2016 – following on from the fabulous response to last year’s doodle (see here) we will be at York Explore between Monday 28th Dec to Saturday 3rd Dec doing another.

The way it will work is, we will put up a very large sheet in the foyer and will be asking and encouraging people throughout the week to write, draw and express something about disability.  This can be personal, political, historical, futuristic, a bee in your bonnet, something worth celebrating, a great idea or a powerful memory, drawings, scribbles, portraits, patterns, thumbprints and lipstick, soft voices and screams – anything goes really.  Our goal is to get people talking about disability much much more. Because lets face it, we need to be better at understanding and representing the ‘D’ word.

To kick it off we are thinking about two key questions.

What future do we want? The theme for International Day of Disabled People is ‘Achieving 17 Goals for the Future We Want’, which draws attention to the 17 Sustainable Development Goals and how these goals can create a more inclusive and equitable world for disabled people. See here.

Does our language matter? The theme for UK Disability History Month in 2016 will focus on the language used to describe disabled people and the language disabled people use to express themselves. See UKDHM.org

So please do come down and say hello, pick up a pen and add a bit of you to the #yorkdisabilitydoodle2016 or send us something by email, tweet or text below.

We will be in the foyer of York Explore, 10-3pm on Mon 28th, Tues 29th Nov, Thurs 1st, Fri 2nd, and Sat 3rd Dec, 12-5pm.

For further information please contact Stephen on hiya@stephenleehodgkins.net or admin@yiln.org.uk or text/mob 07752 365 297 or @yiln2.


Celebration of International Day of Disabled People


December 3, 2016 @ 12:00 am to 4:30 pm at York Explore

International Day of People with Disability

BSL interpreters will be avaliable.

International Day of People with Disability and Disabled History Month are important dates in the calendar but have been little celebrated in York.  We’d like to see them build and grow! Grass roots community groups, city wide and international organisations have come together to create a programme exploring and celebrating our experience of disability  through poetry, music, art and performance.

Our celebration launch is at noon, followed by an afternoon of activities, workshops and the chance to chat and share your thoughts, ideas, and feelings. Some highlights of the day:

Burkina Beading Workshop with Ross Georgeson Join artist Ross Georgeson for a demonstration of paper-beading techniques used by west African artisans with disabilities. This drop-in workshop is for anyone & everyone over 6 (children must be accompanied)

Chilli-BON-BON interactive dance & drama workshop Chilli-BON-BON is a community performance group. You are invited to watch/join in with our workshop using sound, music, movement, film, dance, silence and laughter. Suitable for all ages and abilities.

Ross Georgeson Disability Art Exhibition  Edinburgh-based artist Ross Georgeson will exhibit his latest collection of artworks based on his work with disabled athletes in Burkina Faso.

Voice of the Drum Making music together is great fun. No previous experience needed; open to all ages and abilities. We are proud to have disabled and non-disabled members in our performance group.

Disability Doodle The doodle is open to everybody, disabled and non disabled people alike, family carers, allies, workers, friends, neighbours etc. There are no wrong answers or bad doodles, so don’t hold back, we encourage challenging comments, but nothing offensive please! You can follow the doodle on twitter using the hashtag #YorkDisabilityDoodle2016.

My Shape is an audio visual performance piece presenting the poetry of the late, great Barbara Stewart (1956-2016).  Barbara’s poetry draws on her lived experience as a proud disabled person. Articulating her very personal experiences of, the medical profession, everyday discrimination, difference and empowerment, Barbara’s work is at the same time shockingly honest, funny and positive.

See https://www.exploreyork.org.uk/event/international-day-of-people-with-disability/

Put on jointly by York Independent Living Network, York Explore, York Human Rights City Network and International Service.

More information