Disability History Month


Disability History Month runs every year. This year it began on 16th November and will finish on 16th December 2022. It has been an annual event since 2010. Each year has its own theme, and this year it is Disability, Health and Well Being.

Disability History Month is supported by a wide range of disability organisations, groups and voluntary groups. The aim of the month is to promote the rights of people who have disabilities and their struggle for equality now as well as in the past. The month is also an opportunity to raise awareness of the challenges of those within our own communities who have visible or non-visible disabilities or are caring for those with disabilities.

The MPA is committed to creating a working and learning environment which is inclusive of and accessible to disabled people. We want to ensure that disabled people are treated with dignity and respect and are given the support they need to thrive. We want to listen to and learn from the needs, concerns and experiences of disabled colleagues and our members and take informed action to be more inclusive and supportive.

Jackie Alway OBE is our MPA Champion for AccessAbility and the MPA’s AccessAbility Employee Network and she champions all disability and accessibility inclusion matters. The MPA AccessAbility Employee Network supports Music Publishing Sector employees and raises awareness of diversity and inclusion matters, focused on disability, accessibility, neurodiversity and intersectional issues.

Jackie says: “Disability History Month is a hugely important initiative. It provides us with the opportunity to celebrate the achievements of so many while also enabling us to learn about those people who have struggled both in the past and in the present to get their voices heard.

My journey towards a greater understanding of accessibility issues began when I was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease in 2017.  Since then, as I’ve adapted to cope, I’ve paid attention to the challenges faced by friends and colleagues in the industry manifesting physical or neurological differences of any kind.  I am fortunate that my employer is among those already raising the bar in terms of recruitment best practices and employee resources.  But there is more to be done to remove barriers to entry for individuals with accessibility requirements.  My hope is that Disability History Month provides a catalyst for greater awareness of the need to achieve this important goal. In my role as the MPA Champion for AccessAbility I will work with the MPA’s membership to understand the hiring policies and employee resources already developed and provided by companies (in some cases these are already extensive).  I want to learn from the lived experience of the members of our Employee Network, then help publicise achievable recommendations that will have a material impact on people’s lives. 

There have been a number of legislative introductions over the last 100 years to protect disabled people’s rights, the most recent ones include the Disability Discrimination Act 1995, The Disability Discrimination (Amendment) Act 2005, and the Equality Act 2010. The NHS Timeline link below contains more information on these landmark developments. If we can learn from our past, we can have a better future.”

Our AccessAbility Employee Network is a safe place for members of it to discuss topics, share best practices, share experiences and concerns, celebrate events, raise awareness on disability matters and provide feedback to the MPA Head of DEI and the Champion of Accessibility. All of this engagement and input will help the MPA positively influence the Music Publishing Sector’s awareness and strategies to assure a safe, welcoming, well-maintained and inclusive industry in which to work.

To demonstrate our commitment, we are delighted to be a Disability Committed organisation.  We know that disabled people can face a variety of challenges entering and progressing in the workplace, from the accessibility of buildings, technologies and ways of working to the stigma surrounding many mental and physical health conditions and impairments.

We encourage all our members to get involved with Disability History Month and disability matters. Take meaningful action to become an ally and show your support, not only during this special month but always.


For more information, please contact:
Helen Choudhury
Head of Diversity, Equality and Inclusion
Champion of Menopause
Mental Health First Aider
[email protected]

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