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Disability history in making.

A project to record the 'civil rights history' of disabled people in Birmingham has been launched in the city.

The Centennial Centre in Icknield Port Road yesterday hosted more than 300 people celebrating the International Day of the Disabled.

Among the various activities taking place was the launch of the 'History Wall' - a chance for visitors to add their own important dates and memorabilia to a history of disabled people in the West Midlands.

Paul Green, of Birmingham City Council, is one of the people responsible for collating the history.

He said: 'It is important for disabled people to realise they are living in pre-history really and it is up to us to record events in their lives. Everyone can make history.

'We are asking people to bring their memories and memorabilia because it is a history of a civil rights movement, just like race equality, and we need to record important figures and organisations within that movement before their memory is lost.'

The West Midlands history will then feed into a larger, panEuropean project - European Disabled History Year 2003 - sponsored by the European Union.

Yesterday's event in Birmingham featured a disability market with 48 local and national organisations setting out their stalls, including representatives from the city council answering questions on their range of services.

There was also displays, exhibitions and workshops by joint organisers Coalition of Disabled People Birmingham and the Black and Ethnic Minority Disability Partnership.

The Greater Manchester Coalition of Disabled People's Drama Group performed A Night Out - a play looking at the problems young disabled people encounter going out on a Saturday night.

The celebrations continued through the evening with a disability cabaret.

prohibition on using bus lanes and cycle lanes?

'When councils are doing good work with the new local transport plans to tackle issues of public transport and road safety in a more strategic way, what should we do about these vehicles?

'As we plan and create networks of bus lanes, bus priority junctions, cycle lanes and safer walking lanes, should not we also plan how motorised wheelchairs fit into the scheme of things?

'In the future, should cycle lane networks be made available to those using motorised wheelchairs? ' He said a constituent expressed concern about an elderly aunt who was given a motorised wheelchair without any tests of her ability to use it.

Picture, JEREMY PARDOE

CAPTION(S):

Taking advantage of the exhibition at The Centennial Centre in Icknield Port Road, Birmingham, yesterday were Ian McCleave from Physio Life in Birmingham and Jackie Jones from Sheldon
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Publication:The Birmingham Post (England)
Date:Dec 4, 2002
Words:424
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