Between 16th November and 16th December 2023, people across the UK will take the time to acknowledge the history, culture and achievements of disabled people as part of Disability History Month. As a disability charity, this month holds special significance, but it’s particularly close to our hearts this year as the 2023 theme focuses on the experiences of children and young people.
It’s an opportunity to challenge stereotypes, promote inclusivity, and advocate for equal rights for disabled individuals – all things which we are extremely passionate about.
For almost 45 years, Challengers has been committed to providing play and leisure opportunities for disabled children and young people. The way we operate demonstrates that there is absolutely no reason why disabled children and young people should ever be excluded from having fun and playing an active part in society – we call this the Challengers Approach. Our commitment to inclusion is what makes us Challengers, and it’s something which we would love to see replicated in every organisation.
Disability is an area which many people feel awkward about, simply due to lack of knowledge and not knowing what to do or say for fear of ‘getting it wrong’. It doesn’t need to be that way though… we host disability awareness sessions with schools and youth groups, and also work with corporates to help ensure their businesses are a safe and welcoming environment for disabled employees and customers, as well as increasing their knowledge and confidence.
The term disability can also mean different things to different people. At Challengers we subscribe to the Social Model of Disability – the view that people are disabled by barriers in society, not by their impairment or difference.
Disability History Month serves as a powerful reminder of the progress we’ve made and the work that still needs to be done to ensure a more inclusive and equal future for disabled individuals. Our charitable vision is ‘A world where all children and young people can play together, freely’, and everything we do is to get closer to achieving this goal.
Over the course of the month, we’ll be celebrating Disability History Month on social media by sharing more information about our history, our approach, and the contribution we’re making, so keep an eye out!