Back to news listing

Heritage Lottery Fund logo

Accentuate History of Place - A Major New Disability History Initiative - wins Heritage Lottery Fund support

We are delighted to announce today that Screen South has received initial support* from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for the Accentuate History of Place project. Accentuate History of Place will be a nationally significant social history programme focussed on localised site specific initiatives charting disabled people’s lives from the middle ages until the late 20th Century in relation to built heritage. The Accentuate History of Place project will create a comprehensive picture of National Disability Heritage with the objective of elevating this history to greater prominence.  This project will be developed under the umbrella of Accentuate, which operates as a specialist arm within Screen South, challenging perceptions of disability by providing life changing opportunities for disabled people in the cultural sector.


Development funding of £77, 600 has been awarded to help Accentuate progress our plans and once the project has been further developed we will be submitting a second-round application to secure the full grant amount of £875,900.


The project aims to highlight historic sites of importance, from early provision for disabled people through to the first examples of purpose built architecture.  There will be opportunities for local people across the country to take part in workshops exploring archive material relating to the sites.  There will also be a national touring exhibition and multi-layered website resource to raise the profile of this relatively hidden history.  Alongside this activity Accentuate will deliver training for heritage volunteers and staff in low cost solutions for making heritage sites and events more accessible to deaf and disabled visitors.


Accentuate has developed this project in partnership with English Heritage and will link to their newly established disability history website resource – Disability In Time and Place – which currently features over 200 sites of historic importance.  From medieval almshouses and the first “self-help” community centre entitled “The Guild of the Brave Poor Things”, to unknown Asylums for the Aristocracy, Accentuate History of Place will allow the voices of disabled people from the past to tell their stories through the buildings and archive material. In doing so the project will challenge and delight audiences across England and encourage a greater understanding of what it meant to be a disabled person from the 1100’s to the 1970’s.


Esther Fox, Accentuate Programme Executive said: “We’re delighted that the Heritage Lottery Fund has given us this support. Post the Paraylmpic Games we are more aware of the history of disabled sports people, we have also seen projects which have supported disabled artists, but this is the first time that we can investigate the broad historic context of the lives of disabled people though building design and usage and understand that disabled people have been actively part of society from the Medieval times to the present day.  We want to ensure that this relatively hidden history is known by the wider public.”


Stuart McLeod, Head of HLF South East, said:

“This is a wonderfully imaginative and timely project. Involving large numbers of volunteers, it will tell the hidden history of disability in the UK relating to some of our most important heritage sites. And what better time to celebrate this success than during Volunteers’ Week!  We are fully behind Screen South’s proposals to bring a wealth of stories to the fore and we will be there to support them as plans develop over the coming year.”

Don't forget to check The Blog for news about Accentuate's activities

© Copyright 2009 by Screen South · copyright statement

Site by Surface Impression