Our inaugural Hidden in Heritage Festival took place on Saturday 1 August 2020. It was the first festival in the world, as far as we are aware, that exists to shine a light on hidden disabilities in heritage.

Our speakers provided insights online on what life was like for people living with hidden disabilities in the past, what changes and progress was made across the centuries to improve their quality of life and develop a more inclusive world and how the experience may have been different in different countries. Events included outdoor blind people in Edwardian Scotland, the Foundling Hospital’s work with learning disabled children in the 18th century, the impact of epilepsy on the writings of Lewis Carroll and the changing design of hearing aids across the centuries and how some people wielding a hearing trumpet viewed it as a form of power!

Our line-up included (click on the title to view each talk):

OUTDOOR BLIND PEOPLE IN EDWARDIAN SCOTLAND
Dr Iain Hutchison, University of Glasgow

SO THAT THEY MIGHT BE USEFULL TO THEMSELVES
Thomas Aird, Volunteer at the Foundling Museum

OBJECTS OF CONCEALMENT AND POWER
Dr Coreen McGuire, Department of Philosophy, University of Bristol
Dr Jaipreet Virdi, Assistant Professor, Department of History, University of Delaware 

WRITING OUT THE ELECTRICAL STORM
Matt Pinches, Co-Founder and Producer, Guildford Shakespeare Company 
Professor Aparna Nair, Assistant Professor of History of Science, University of Oklahoma-Norman