Disability West Lothian received an award of £79,300 from the Heritage Lottery Fund to undertake an exciting project, 'Back to the Future West Lothian'. A two-year initiative to create a unique oral history archive focusing on disability in West Lothian since before WWII. Volunteers received professional oral history training and interviewed 50+ respondents who have experiences of disability.
Disability West Lothian offered opportunities for cross-generational exploration of experiences by comparing any similarities and differences from the past with more recent practises. Key themes included disability and: youth; education; outings; transport; events; etc. Those interviewed revealed how people with disabilities have shaped and influenced West Lothian's landscapes and buildings, just as they have influenced and shaped them.
The interviews recorded in audio and video were deposited in an authorised repository in West Lothian at the end of the project. Volunteers and students worked with Dr Sue Morrison, an oral historian, and a film maker to produce a variety of heritage outputs, including filmed interviews, videos addressing the project's main themes, website content, an oral history-based booklet and a host of interactive public engagement events.
This innovative project, 'Back to the Future West Lothian' captured the history of disability its challenges, successes and hopes.