Investing in disability heritage

Investing in disability heritage

At the Heritage Fund, we believe everyone should be able to benefit from our funding.

Disabled people are under-served in every area of the heritage sector, including people who are learning disabled, people with physical or sensory disabilities or those living with dementia or using mental health services.

We are working in partnership with disabled people to change this unfair situation. That's why we make it mandatory that all of the projects we fund ensure a wider range of people are involved in heritage.

Disabled people are far more likely to be digitally excluded, face barriers to communication, and feel more socially isolated. Even before the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, disabled people and people with long-term health conditions were more likely to experience poor mental health and wellbeing. 

We know that this is something that heritage projects can help to address.

Ewan Bachell, the Heritage Fund project manager

Here are some of the inspirational projects run by disabled people or delving into the history of disability in the UK. If you've got an idea, we'd love to hear from you.

Four young people chatting and looking at a display of a small historical model settlement
Curating for Change Fellows at the Museum of London. Credit: Museum of London


How to make recruitment fair and open to all

Curating for Change – the National Lottery-funded work placement programme for D/deaf, disabled and neurodivergent curators in museums – is challenging the heritage sector to consider equitable recruitment.
Person standing in front of a display of roller posters
Rosemarie with 'Neurodiversity through the ages' display


Neurodiversity through the ages

Educating local communities in Grimsby about neurodiversity throughout human history, including – the development of psychiatry as a discipline, the history of diagnoses and how society treated neurodivergent people.

A person teaching a young child about past events and showing them an old type writer
Child learning at the Black Country Living Museum. Credit: Richard Jinman


Our Heritage: supporting D/deaf children in Walsall

Families of children with D/deafness or hearing impairments took part in social activities that taught them about local heritage, traditions and skills passed down through generations.

Photograph of a young person sitting in the cockpit of a plane. Someone is passing him a helmet.
A trip to the RAF Museum.


Heritage Trips for Disadvantaged Young People

Young people with sickle cell disease and other genetic blood disorders and their families took part in social activities to experience local heritage, building confidence and connection.