September’s article focuses on the Annual Awards Exhibition of the Disabled Photographers’ Society which runs until 9th October at The Art House in Wakefield. The exhibition, which was first held in 1989, is always popular with members of the DPS and this year there were over 450 entries. Thirty seven certificates were awarded along with eight medals and one silver plate, the Mike Birbeck, in memory of the DPS’s long standing President.
Emily Ryalls, one of the Judges and Sydney Thornbury, the CEO of the venue, spoke highly of the quality and creativity of the exhibits on display. Not only that but The Art House has purchased the Best Overall Print, Trafalgar Square Selfies, from the photographer Ray Bridges for its permanent exhibition.
Tom Molloy, Chairman of the Disabled Photographers’ Society - “This year has seen a record number of images entered for selection by members of the DPS, representing the whole spectrum of society and disabilities including those with physical, mental, visual, aural issues and combinations thereof."
"It comes as no surprise to most of us that the quality of the images, as well as the range and diversity of subject matter, was commented on and praised by visitors to the opening event. The DPS has always been extremely proud of the work that its membership exhibits every year, not just because of the very high standard but because we know that our members often have to overcome some huge difficulties to achieve those very high standards. The high quality and standard of work speaks for itself and is just one example of how people can remove barriers all by themselves.”
The Disabled Photographers Society is an organisation “run by disabled photographers for disabled photographers.” It was founded in 1968 when some residents at the Star and Garter Home in Richmond, who were keen on photography, were taken to a local camera club. Like many other camera clubs and societies, the DPS offers its members valuable advice on all things photographic. What makes the DPS stand out, however, is its mission to make photography accessible to everyone, regardless of their disability. One way the society achieves this is by loaning out adapted equipment to members.
The society also provides support to care workers as well as anyone keen to help people with disabilities enjoy photography.
Members also benefit from events, such as photographic days out – the latest being a boat trip down the Great Ouse with fish and chips provided for lunch. Competitions, holidays and webinars form part of the other activities offered to members.
The Disabled Photographers’ Society operates nationwide and is run entirely by unpaid volunteers, most of them disabled photographers themselves. Funds are raised through donations of photographic items and these are available on the DPS stand at The Photography Show at the NEC each year. For more information about the Disabled Photographers Society go to www.the-dps.co.uk.
The exhibition runs until 9th October and plans are already in hand for next year’s event, which will be held at another exciting venue.
'Trafalgar Square Selfies' by Raymond Bridges (Best image in 1st open print section)
'Great Grey Owl' by David Stephenson (Best projected image)