Showing posts from November, 2016

A Wall’s Heritage: Making Mad People’s History Public

By Geoffrey Reaume “None found”. 1 This was how mad people who built a 19th century brick boundary wall were described in a 1996 City of Toronto Heritage Report. The architect was extolled in this report but the unpaid labourers who actually constructed these walls were literally non-existent. The same year and only a few blocks away from where this report was issued, I found easily available documents in the Archives of Ontario which clearly state who toiled on the wall. This post will discuss efforts to first of all include and engage people with disabilities in public histories, while also bringing to a wider audience disabled people's historical experiences. Secondly, these efforts will also be discussed as a way to challenge prejudiced attitudes towards people with disabilities today by making accessible pasts relevant to contemporary experiences. Finally, it will be emphasized that bringing this history quite literally to the street corner is a way of using publicly access