The legacy of Vic Finkelstein

News has reached us of the death of Vic Finkelstein on 30 November. Born in 1938, Finkelstein grew up in South Africa and was imprisoned for anti-apartheid activities in the 1960s. He came to Britain in 1968, where he helped found UPIAS (Union of the Physically Impaired Against Segregation) and developed the ‘Social Model of Disability’. His view was that the focus should be ‘on the need to change the disabling society rather than make us fit for society’. Finkelstein was a tutor on the OU’s ground-breaking disability course P853 The handicapped person in the community, which began in 1975 and to which Finkelstein contributed to several broadcasts.

A tribute published by the Fed Centre for Independent Living quotes Professor Jan Walmsley, a former OU colleague, who highlights Finkelstein’s ‘enormously powerful influence not only on the way the OU taught and continues to teach in health and social care, but also on UK disability policy’, including the Disability Discrimination Acts and the personalisation agenda, and his role in putting the OU ‘at the forefront of teaching and thinking about disability’. Comments on Finkelstein’s legacy at the OU would be welcomed.

One Response to “The legacy of Vic Finkelstein”

  1. Rachel Garnham Says:

    More on Vic Finkelstein at

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