Finding collections relating to d/Deaf, disabled and neurodiverse people

One of the aims of our project is to make collections relating to d/Deaf, disabled and neurodivergent people more visible – and to share some of the objects our Fellows and Trainees are discovering.

Some will have quite obvious connections to disabled people’s lives – a walking stick, some braille or images of disabled people. But we will also be exploring less obvious connections too. Sometimes the significance of an object is its owner; its part in a bigger story, or the way someone with lived experience of disability has responded to it. In this way we hope to broaden the ways that d/Deaf, disabled and neurodivergent stories are told.


P & K ARM (Prosthetic arm)

Rights information: Copyright: Hastings Museum and Art Gallery


The end of the First World War saw 41,000 British men return with a physical impairment. Although promised a hero’s welcome, these men were often forgotten and provided with inadequate support by the government.Government prosthetics took years to get fitted, and many private companies began creating prosthetics such as this one by Kirk and Alexander Pringle.

Known as the P&K Arm, it was designed to allow the user to hold objects by pulling the lever on the wrist and bending the spring fingers. Although some became adept with the arm, it was often heavy, expensive, and required a large amount of strength to be used. Pringle & Kirk prostheses were made in the North of England for agricultural workers.

- Jack Guy, Curating for Change Fellow, Hastings Museum & Art Gallery