Speaking For Ourselves

Disabled volunteers interviewing people with cerebral palsy

230 hours of sound and video oral history records were created by the project.

Making a difference

How the project achieved HLF’s outcomes for heritage

  • The heritage of people with cerebral palsy was identified and recorded. The project filled an important gap in the social history of the UK by creating a history of disabled people in their own words.
  • The 40 oral history recordings were deposited and made accessible in the British Library Sound Archive, where they will be well managed and available for people now and in the future.
  • This heritage was explained through a website and teaching pack.

How the project achieved HLF’s outcomes for people

  • 16 disabled volunteers, including young people, developed new skills in oral history techniques.
  • Children and young people learnt about disability, prejudice, discrimination and the contribution that disabled people make to society through the teaching pack.
  • The teaching pack and the records in the British Library Sound Archive have helped people change their attitudes, creating communities that are more aware of the lives of people with disabilities and the barriers they face.

How the project achieved HLF’s outcomes for communities

  • More and a wider range of people engaged with heritage. Disabled people fully participated in all aspects of the project, as project manager, volunteer interviewers and interviewees.

Lessons learnt

Security checks were necessary for staff and volunteers working with young people taking part in the project. These can take time to process and can affect the timetable of your project if it is not already been accounted for. Supporting disabled volunteers and giving them opportunities to participate in heritage projects costs less than many people think.

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