CollectionMike Oliver Archive
TitleMike Oliver Archive
Name of creatorOliver, Michael James Hoiles (1945-2019)
Extent94 items
DescriptionCollection of material relating to Mike Oliver, sociologist, author and disability rights activist. Includes transcript of Oliver's lecture 'Disability History, Bleeding Hearts and Parasite People' at University of Kent, 29 Nov 2017; transcripts of addresses given at Oliver's memorial event on 19 Oct 2019; and raw footage of interviews with Oliver used to produce 'Kicking Down the Doors: from Borstal Boy to University Professor', oral history interview with Oliver that took place in Dec 2018. Also includes working files from Oliver's laptop computer, largely consisting of his drafts of articles for "Disability Now" magazine, drafts of speeches, drafts of forewords and promotional material for events featuring Oliver.
PhysicalDescriptionBorn-digital files inc. MS Word documents and PDFs
Admin historyMike Oliver (3 Feb 1945-2 Mar 2019) was a British sociologist, author and disability rights activist. He was the first Professor of Disability Studies in the world, and key advocate of the social model of disability. Born in Rochester, Kent, he attended Sir Joseph Williamsons' Mathematical School. At the age of 18 Oliver broke his neck diving into the swimming pool at Butlin’s holiday camp at Clacton-on-Sea, Essex. He spent a year at the specialist Stoke Mandeville hospital in Buckinghamshire, but was left tetraplegic. Oliver began teaching at the Borstal youth detention centre and studying sociology at night school. He studied Sociology at the University of Kent 1972-1975 and took further degrees at Kent, including a PhD. His doctorate focused on the care of young offenders with epilepsy. He also developed the teaching of disability studies at Kent and at the Open University. In 1983 he published ‘Social Work with Disabled People’ in which he framed the Social Model of Disability. Oliver was an advocate of the social model and civil rights for disabled people, but was disappointed in the 1992 Disability Discrimination Act, feeling that it fatally split the disability movement. He was a fierce critic of the big disability charities, claiming that "disability corporatism" had replaced activism since the 1990s. Oliver retired in 2003 and became emeritus professor at Greenwich. In November 2017 he delivered an Open Lecture at the University of Kent entiteld 'Disability History, Bleeding Hearts and Parasite People', as part of Disability History Month. In 1972 he married Judith Hunt, becoming adoptive father of her two children. After that marriage ended in divorce, in 1994 he married Joy Lenny. Oliver died on 2 Mar 2019.
Access conditionsThis material is available for consultation at the University of Kent's Special Collections & Archives reading room, Templeman Library, University of Kent, Canterbury, CT2 7NU ( Users will be provided with PDF versions of the original documents.
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