Anti-ableist museums | Further resources - Museums Association

Anti-ableist museums | Further resources

Websites, books and organisations to help you and your museum on the journey to becoming anti-ableist
Anis Akhtar, Community Curator at People's History Museum.

Online resources

Disability and Art

An online resource created with the help of staff and volunteers from Tate’s Disability Network. The network promotes the social model of disability, proposing that people would not be disabled in a social structure that is designed for everyone’s needs.

Disability Arts Online

The organisation has developed a useful guide for Access to Work in the Cultural Sector.

Everywhere & Nowhere


Guidance for ethically researching and interpreting disability histories has been produced as part of a collaboration between the University of Leicester’s Research Centre for Museums and Galleries and the National Trust, with the support of disabled collaborators and experts in disability history.

Euan’s Guide

Euan’s Guide is a charity that runs the UK’s largest Access Survey, is well known for its disabled access online reviews and has also made tens of thousands of accessible toilets safer. The charity was founded in 2013 by Euan MacDonald, a powerchair user, and his sister Kiki.

Heritage Access 2022 report

Produced by VocalEyes – in partnership with Stagetext, Autism in Museums and the Centre for Accessible Environments – the Heritage Access report 2022 includes guidance for venue staff on creating and presenting access information online, covering about 40 access aids, facilities, resources and events.

Microsoft Inclusive Design toolkit


Advice for digital creators from the tech giant on how to make your online design accessible.

Send in Museums

Send in Museums provides clear guidance for museum, heritage and other arts and cultural professionals on supporting the inclusion of children and young people with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (Send).

UK Disability History Month

An annual event (mid-November to mid-December) that provides
a platform for focusing on the history of the struggle for equality and human rights.


The Art of Access: A Practical Guide for Museum Accessibility
by Heather Pressman and Danielle Schultz
Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2021


Disability Visibility: First-Person Stories from the Twenty-First Century
by Alice Wong
Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, 2020

Museum Accessibility by Design: A Systemic Approach to Organizational Change
by Maria Chiara Ciaccheri
American Alliance of Museums, 2022

Museums and Art Galleries: Making Existing Buildings Accessible
by Adrian Cave
Centre for Accessible Environments and Riba Publishing, 2007

The Routledge Handbook of Disability Arts, Culture, and Media
edited by Bree Hadley and Donna McDonald
Routledge, 2019

What Have We Done: An Oral History of the Disability Rights Movement
by Fred Pelka,
University Massachusetts Press, 2012


Curating for Change

The Curating for Change Museums Strategic Disability Network is a framework for museum sector organisations and those with specialist experience to work with D/deaf, disabled and neurodiverse people. It aims to tackle the under-representation of disabled people in museums, using the expertise of its group. Its advisers are working alongside 20 partner museums as they deliver curatorial work placements from 2022-2024.


This disabled-led visual-arts charity creates opportunities
for disabled artists to develop their creative practice. These opportunities take many forms, from high-quality commissions to community-based workshops. The work it creates is centred around its vision and mission.

Disability Arts Cymru

Disability led and focused, this organisation works to the social model of disability, recognising that systemic barriers, negative attitudes and societal exclusion (conscious, inadvertent or unintentional) are instrumental factors in disabling people.

Disability Arts International

This website and regular digital newsletter is coordinated by
the British Council, the UK’s international organisation
for cultural relations and educational opportunities.

Disability Collaborative Network

Set up in 2015, this network provides heritage organisations with a resource hub of information and practice for their audiences and workforce.

Langdon Down Museum of Learning Disability

The site of the museum, in Teddington, was the home and institution developed by the Victorian physician John Langdon Down and his family. They introduced a revolutionary approach to caring for people with learning disabilities.

National Disability Arts Collection & Archive

The NDACA is a £1m project that brings to life the heritage and history of the UK Disability Arts Movement, which began in the late 1970s and continues today.

It involved a group of disabled people and their allies who broke down barriers, helped change the law with the Disability Discrimination Act of 1995, and made great culture and art about those struggles.

Shape Arts

A disability-led arts organisation that works to improve access to culture by providing opportunities for disabled artists, training cultural institutions to be more open to disabled people, and running participatory arts and development programmes.

University of Atypical

A disabled-led arts charity, taking an empowerment-based approach towards supporting disabled and D/deaf people’s involvement in the arts.
The organisation specialises in developing and promoting the work of disabled and D/deaf artists and in reaching disabled and D/deaf audiences.

We Shall Not Be Removed

This intersectional UK disability arts alliance was set up as an emergency response to the Covid. We Shall Not Be Removed is a forum to advocate, campaign and support D/deaf, neurodivergent and disabled creative practitioners and organisations.

Projects and exhibitions

Cabinet of Curiosities

Acclaimed actor, activist and performance artist Mat Fraser was commissioned by the Research Centre for Museums and Galleries at the University of Leicester to create an artistic work that was shaped out of a collaborative engagement with museum collections, research and expertise in medical history, museums and disability.

It was a key part of the Stories of a Different Kind project (July 2012-February 2014). Cabinet of Curiosities: How Disability was kept in a Box reassessed the ways in which disability and disabled people are portrayed in museums and galleries.

Christopher Samuel: The Archive of An Unseen

Christopher Samuel is a multi-disciplinary artist whose practice is rooted in identity and disability politics, often echoing the many facets of his own lived experience.

The Archive of An Unseen exhibition (5 May-16 July), at the University of Leicester’s Attenborough Arts Centre, told the story of the artist’s childhood, growing up as a Black, disabled, working-class child from a single-parent household in the 1980s and 1990s.

Nothing About Us Without Us: Disabled People’s Activism: Past, Present and Future

This landmark exhibition (which opened on 16 November 2022 and runs until 16 October this year) at the People’s History Museum in Manchester explores the history of disabled people’s activism and the ongoing fight for rights and inclusion.

It showcases a large collection of protest material – including banners, T-shirts, photographs and sculptures – that has been brought together for the first time.

The exhibition has been co-curated by four community curators who identify as disabled people and guided by a steering group who have been working with the museum since 2018.

Rethinking Disability Representation in Museums and Galleries

Initiated and managed by the University of Leicester’s Research Centre for Museums and Galleries, Rethinking Disability Representation in Museums and Galleries was an experimental project that developed new approaches to the interpretation of disability and the representation of disabled people’s lives and experiences in museums and galleries in the UK.

The initiative was designed to develop politically aware approaches to interpretation, drawing on the social model of disability.

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