Archiving Disability Arts
Oral History
Goodwill Messages

‘An important element of our culture is our history. We should not wait for the academics to decide this is important, but we must begin charting it ourselves by listening to and recording the reminiscences of older people with disabilities. Their stories are our lost history, a central element of the culture we belong to.’(Simon Brisenden)


We hope that oral history projects will be an important element of the work of the Edward Lear Foundation, and are already negotiating funding for that purpose.

We plan to interview leading figures in the disability arts movement about their lives and work. Transcripts of these interviews will be lodged in the Disability Arts Archive at Holton Lee.

As well as artists and performers, we would also like to interview other people who have memories of Disability Arts, particularly before 1990. If you feel Disability Arts affected your life, please let us know how. Email history@learfoundation.org.uk.

Gone but not Forgotten

There are some important figures that we will no be able to interview, because they are no longer alive. Ian Stanton, Dorothy Miles, Steve Cribb, Sue Napolitano, Elly Wilkie, Simon Brisenden and others. We would like to identify existing interviews with such artists, so that they can be saved for the Disability Arts Archive. If you know the whereabouts of any such material, please let us know.   Email history@learfoundation.org.uk.

Telethon Demonstrations

A key early project will be to record memories of the demonstrations against the ITV Telethon. This was an occasion where disability arts and disability politics united in opposition to an event that was much hated by disabled people in the UK.

(Were you at, or involved with, the Telethon demonstrations? Or do you remember them taking place? If so, please contact us.  Email history@learfoundation.org.uk.)