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International Day of Disabled People 2015

Generously Supported by:

Catherine Cookson Charitable Trust
R.W. Mann Trust
Sylvia and Colin Shepherd Charitable Trust

The Barbour Foundation


Disability North celebrated The International Day of Disabled People 2015 on December 3rd at The Sage Gateshead.

Please see our fantastic gallery of photos from the event here. Thank you to Laurence Sweeney Photography.

The International Day of Disabled People was created by the United Nations in 1992 to promote awareness, and mobilise support, for the estimated one billion disabled people around the world facing barriers to inclusion.

The theme for 2015 was Inclusion Matters: Access and Empowerment of People of All Abilities.

Disability North celebrated the work being done in the North East to break down the barriers that disabled people face with a day packed full of speakers and performances. We explored a range of topics including the portrayal of disability in media and disability in the arts.


We are proud to annouce the Independent Living Showroom as sponsors of the International Day of Disabled People event.

Disability North would like to thank the Catherine Cookson Charitable Trust, the Sylvia and Colin Shepherd Charitable Trust, The Barbour Trust and the R.W. Mann Trust for their support with this event.

When: IDDP took place on the 3rd of December, 10am - 4pm

Where: Our celebration took place at Sage Gateshead


Athena Stevens, A Brave New World: The Debates Surrounding Disability in the Media

Athena StevensAthena Stevens is an author, actress and director, who has written

and starred in productions at the West End.

Athena is also a published author, and creator of the blog Never Walked

in High Heels.

In addition to her career, Athena is involved with humanitarian

work, supporting causes including disability rights.

Athena, who was born with athetoid cerebral palsy, discusses disability in media.

Find out more about Athena Stevens here.


Simon Mckeown, We are Still Here

Simon McKeown is an award winning artist, whose work often considers disability.

Simon’s most successful works include Ghosts, a short film commissioned for Channel 4, and the internationally exhibited Motion Disabled.

Simon is deafened and has Osteogenesis Imperfecta. He discusses his life as a disabled artist and his latest project, Cork Ignite, one of Europe’s most successful international Disability Art events.

Find out more about Simon Mckeown here.

Beacon Hill Arts

Returning to International Day in 2015 were Beacon

Hill Arts, an award-winning BFI Film Academy

supporting creative, disabled young people in the

North East.

They share one of their latest projects with us.

Find out more information about Beacon Hill Arts here.


Dr Lindsay Pennington, Getting on with it: Views of Young People with Cerebral Palsy on What Helps and What Hinders their Social Participation

Dr Lindsay Pennington is a Speech and Language Therapist and a senior lecturer in the Institute of Health and Society at Newcastle University.

Lindsay is currently testing therapies to help children with cerebral palsy improve the clarity of their speech and developing mobile phone applications to be used in therapy.

Lindsay talks about a current project which is looking at how the physical environment, society and attitudes affect young, disabled people in their home life, social life and in work and education.

Find out more about Lindsay's research here.


Candoco Dance Company

Candoco is the world's leading contemporary dance company of disabled and non-disabled dancers.

They create excellent and profound experiences for audiences and participants that excite, challenge and broaden perceptions of art and ability, and place people and collaboration at the heart of our work. 

Candoco tell us about the company and discussing disabilty and dance.

Find out more about Candoco Dance Company here.

Photo: Candoco Dance Company, Beheld choreographed by Alexander Whitley. Photographer: Hugo Glendinning.


Gemma Flanagan- Models of Diversity

Models of Diversity is the campaign for more diversity in the models we see every day. Models of Diversity campaigns to the fashion, beauty and marketing industries to recognise the beauty in people of all races, ages, shapes, sizes and abilities.

Models of Diversity are set on changing the fashion industry for good, and believe that with dedication and good values, theywill be able to inspire a world that excludes disabled people, into embracing them.


Find out more about Models of Diversity and disability here.

Models of Diversity would like to advertise their government petition #disabilityfight4fashionright at their stall which addresses the exclusion of disability in the fashion industry. To read more about their campaign, follow this link.

For more information on the International Day of Disabled People email the Events Team





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