Covering the 1920s to the 1970s in England, some recent research of mine uncovered images of disabled people marching for jobs and rights in the 1920s and 1930s, including marches to London at the same time as the better-known Jarrow March. This radical tradition has been continued up to the present day with disabled people demonstrating for full civil rights. The research includes case studies of:
NLBD – the National League for Blind and Disabled People from 1920s; DDA – the Disabled Drivers Association from 1940s; and
MDA – Manchester Disabled Athletes, a sports club from 1970s.
For me, this reseach was a labour of love. I hope it helps to dispel the assumption that radical campaigning by disabled people for civil rights did not start until sometime in the 1960s or the 1970s. The struggle has a much longer history, even though the historical record of such campaigns is fragile and sometimes hard to uncover.
Unacknowledged Traces: exploring through photographic records the self-organisation of disabled people in England from the 1920s to the 1970s. ISBN 978-0-9572606-2-7 (2012) 168pp.
Based on an MPhil thesis, University of Sunderland
Free as pdf and via preview at Google Books.