UPIAS – Union of the Physically Impaired Against Segregation

This archive initially contained a small selection from the papers of Kevin Hyett (1958-2004), a good friend of mine and Lorraine. He was a radical activist for the rights of disabled people. It is now being extended with a much wider collection of papers from Paul Hunt and Dick Leaman, via Judy Hunt. Some will be public-domain, and others will be in a closed archive in Manchester, with controlled access only by prior written permission from the GMCDP office to genuine and ethical activists and researchers.

All the public-domain documents have a Creative Commons licence for non-commercial use, based on the share-alike and attributed principles. Share-alike means the same Creative Commons conditions must be kept with all copies.

2019 – UPIAS Research Notes – Tony Baldwinson – ISBN 9781913148010

1980s UPIAS Evidence on Integrated Education

Are We Oppressed, Vic Finkelstein, UPIAS (1974, 2018)

1980 Obituary for Paul Hunt

1980 Paul Hunt obituary in Responaut

Settling Accounts with the Parasite People – a critique of A LIFE APART by EJ Miller and GV Gwynne – by Paul Hunt – 1981 (digital version)

Settling Accounts with the Parasite People – a critique of A LIFE APART by EJ Miller and GV Gwynne – by Paul Hunt (original manuscript)

  • both versions above with an interesting questionnaire at the end to send to academics to fill in before you decide whether to see them or not.


Dick Leaman – Obituary

1999-10 Dick Leaman obituary by Vic Finkelstein – Coalition


These documents below all relate to UPIAS – the Union of the Physically Impaired Against Segregation. Kevin Hyett was one of its active members.

DISABILITY CHALLENGE – public newsletter

1981-05-00 UPIAS Disability Challenge No 1 – May 1981

1983-12 UPIAS – Disability Challenge number 2 – December 1983


UPIAS – Information Pack for Members

UPIAS – Aims and Policy Statement

UPIAS Membership Form

UPIAS Constitution

UPIAS Associate Members

1982-11 UPIAS archive – BCODP leaflet

1975-11-22 UPIAS and Disability Alliance – Fundamental Principles of Disability

UPIAS reference in Womens Realm magazine

UPIAS – Union Focus on Housing and Help leaflet

1984 UPIAS article in Spare Rib – Refusing to be Outsiders

1982-12-01 UPIAS and letter from Research Institute for Consumer Affaris

CIRCULARS – confidential to members

UPIAS Internal Circular (rules)

Kevin’s papers contain copies of around 20 of the around 60 Circulars which UPIAS mailed to its members. I initially proposed that these copies should be added here for wider use today by disability campaigners and scholars. The reasoning was similar to the “30 year rule” for confidential government papers to be published in the National Archives. I invited welcome views, especially from people who were active in UPIAS at the time, as a consequence of which (see details below) the Circulars remain confidential for some time yet. Thanks. TB.

3 thoughts on “UPIAS – Union of the Physically Impaired Against Segregation

  1. Anne Plumb

    Difficult one this Tony. I was disconcerted when someone from the GMCDP told me they had seen something I had written in the circulars concerning able-bodied allies. This was definitely written as a contribution to a debate in a CONFIDENTIAL circular. Within these circulars people felt freer to explore issues. In retrospect, I find my own contribution rather embarrassing!

    I had a chat to Judy H at one one point about the circulars. (I have what is probably a full set) She told me that people already had access to them through the Leeds Disability Unit – disregarding it would seem the issue of the confidentiality when it comes to items in archives!

    The question is – what is to be gained from giving access to the circulars – and are we thinking of full or restricted access? I am in favour of restricted access . I was interested, for example, on the contribution of women and how many members voted on the Policy Statement in order to challenge Shakespeare’s public presentation of the UPIAS as basically being male and Marxist. As to full access I haven’t previously given any thought to the 30 year rule.

    II guess that anyone viewing the circulars should understand the context – that people were contributing on believing these to be confidential – but I also feel that the content could be abused by people who may wish to use it for the own purposes eg to discredit individual UPIAS members or indeed the UPIAS generally.

    I guess it is a question I also need to ask myself about Ken’sarchive which I see as an important archive of a grass-roots activist but it does include letters send out during campaigns from , for example, the Rochdale and District Housing and Disability group.

    My initial thoughts.
    Good to see you and Lorraine at Hazel’s exhibition.Anne


    1. Tony Baldwinson Post author

      Many thanks Anne. I have thought about these comments for a while, as privacy and confidentiality issues occur in other archives as well as with the UPIAS Circulars.

      My blog post today (28 Sept 2014) sets out the details, but in short I think such files should remain on restricted access for 100 years after their creation. This follows national best practice with the UK National Archives, in case anyone who is mentioned is still living.

      The 30 year rule is used for papers which are confidential in terms of policy, not in terms of named individuals. There is also a move to reduce this period to 20 years.

      My general criteria is: what was public then is public now, and what was private then remains private now.

      I hope this approach helps us with archives generally as well as UPIAS.



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