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Silenced: The History of Disabled Britain

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For more than a century, one group of people in Britain has been shut out of society, denied basic human rights, and treated with fear and prejudice.

Now, in this shocking, moving film, writer, actor, and presenter Cerrie Burnell uncovers the hidden story of how disabled people fought back – and won their freedom.

Cerrie was born without the lower part of her right arm. As a presenter on CBeebies, Cerrie was astonished to learn that some viewers thought her appearance would ‘scare’ watching children.

She discovers how our modern attitudes to disabled people were first formed in the workhouses of Victorian Britain. She uncovers the original records of an institution created to segregate disabled people and stop them from having children. And she traces the hidden lives of those confined to institutions for their whole lives.

Cerrie will hear astonishing stories of heartbreak and cruelty. But she will also meet the pioneers who changed the lives of disabled people forever – like John Evans, who was one of the very first to move from a residential home into a home of his own, and Alia Hassan, who as part of the campaign for human rights brought the streets of London to a standstill in order to be allowed to get on a bus.

Ultimately Cerrie will discover that although much has changed for disabled people in Britain today, the battle is not yet won.

Silenced is a story of huge social change, that many of us still don’t know, told through the hidden lives of disabled people.