Press release

Disability advocate celebrated in new University lecture

Published on 27 November 2020

The life of a local disabled rights advocate will be celebrated as the University of Dundee marks UK Disability History Month.

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Eddie Small, a Public Engagement Officer in the University’s School of Humanities, passed away in September and was also known throughout the city for his work as a historian, playwright and creative writing tutor.

A hugely popular figure on campus and in local literary circles, Eddie, who wore a prosthetic hand, was an active member of the University’s Disabled Staff Network and championed awareness around disability.

To mark his life and to coincide with the International Day of Persons with Disabilities, the University has named its inaugural Annual Disability Awareness Lecture in honour of Eddie. It will take place online from 4-5pm on Thursday 3 December.

This year’s lecture will be delivered by John Horan, a disabled barrister at Cloisters Chambers, London, who specialises in anti-discrimination work. He will be discussing his career and the theme of ‘doublespeak’ in accessing justice for disabled people.

He will be joined by Fiona Kumari Campbell, Professor of Disability and Ableism Studies within Dundee’s School of Education and Social Work.

She said, “We are the first university in Scotland to host an Annual Disability Lecture and there is nobody better to do this in honour of than Eddie.

“He was a tremendous advocate for the disability rights movement, but he was also known throughout the city as an authority on Dundee’s history. He was deeply committed to engaging with the public, as was evident through his work here at the University, and his enthusiasm and wisdom helped to make him the popular figure that he was.

“Eddie’s friendly manner and desire to fulfil the potential of every student established him as one of the most loved members of both the University and local communities, and that is why we felt it appropriate to name this lecture in his honour.”

The lecture is the highlight of a series of events being hosted by the University to mark Disability History Month, which runs until December 18.


Jonathan Watson

Senior Press Officer

+44 (0)1382 381489