Disability heritage

Explore disability stories, narratives and heritage from Europe and beyond

Notable people

black and white photograph of Kay Espenhayn
Kay Espenhayn

German swimmer in the Paralympic Games who won multiple medals

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Geniuses with (dis)abilities

Explore the scientific and artistic careers of Ludwig van Beethoven, Louis Braille, Mileva Marić, and Francisco de Goya

black and white photograph, portrait of Frida Kahlo
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Frida Kahlo

Mexican artist Frida Kahlo is a role model for generations of artists, bisexual women and people with disabilities.

Black and white photograph of Knut Lundstrøm in an ice sledge
Knut Lundstrøm

Norwegian Paralympian who won 21 medals across four different games

Colour photograph of Esther Vergeer playing tennis
Esther Vergeer

Dutch tennis player who was unbeaten for more than 400 matches

Black and white photograph of Noor Inayat Khan wearing a uniform hat with a crest in the middle
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Historical women with disabilities

Four women who helped change the world we live in

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Painting of Beethoven sitting in nature in front of trees with musical sheets on his lap.
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Beethoven’s Ode to Joy

Beethoven’s Ode to Joy was chosen in 1972 as the official anthem of the European Union

Photograph of the installation work Vacation by Shonibare
Yinka Shonibare

British Nigerian artist exploring colonialism and post-colonialism in art

Disability heritage

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Before Braille: raised type

In the 19th century innovations in raised type made written words accessible to visually impaired readers.

an artwork a man with dark hair with his arm on the table cupping his head in his hand. He is wearing a bright green shirt and a dark grey jacket
Disabilities in art

This gallery features depictions of disabilities in artworks across centuries

black and white photograph, wheelchair user athletes parading in a stadium in front of large crowd
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The Paralympic Games

Histories of the games for athletes with disabilities

a gray stone slab on a black background with a relief sculpture of two female faces and necks pointing looking to the left, in Ancient Egyptian style
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Evolution of bas-relief

From a classical tradition to a modern aid for visually impaired people

black and white photograph of a book open in braille
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Louis Braille

Explore objects relating to braille writing system

Hands spelling out in sign language the words 'The best lovers are good with their hands'; advertisement for safe sex by the British Deaf Association. Black and white lithograph.
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Sign Languages

Visual communication using hand gestures and other types of body language

After the war

Soldiers with disabilities after World War I