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July is Disability Pride Month!

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Jimm_Scope
Jimm_Scope Posts: 3,685 Disability Gamechanger

The UK has been celebrating Disability Pride Month in July since 2015! In the UK nearly 1 in 4 people have a disability, Disability Pride is an occasion to celebrate them, their identity and their contribution to society. It's aim is to also help spread awareness to end the stigma around disability, change how people think about those with disabilities and bring up issues still faced by disabled people on a daily basis.

It's a time to come together and celebrate who we are, and take pride in that.

History

It all started in the United States, when the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was passed into law in 1990 to make discrimination against disabled people illegal. In the UK we have the Equality Act which protects us against discrimination.

While ADA was being debated in the US Capitol building, 1,000 people gathered outside the building in support of the bill. During the ongoing debate, 60 of these supporters removed or got off their mobility aids, wheelchairs, mobility scooters, walking aids. Some were as young as eight years old. They then dragged and climbed the 100 steps up to the entrance of the Capitol building without any support. An amazing display of just how inaccessible our society and world can be.

A Disability Pride day was begun to both celebrate this momentous act and so disabled people can celebrate who they are, no matter any differences. This eventually became a month and here we now are!

Flag

In 2019 a flag was created for the Disability Pride movement, it was modified in 2021 to what we now see below! It has some important symbolism that I'd like to share.

Black field: mourning those lost due to ableist violence and abuse

Diagonal band: "cutting across" the barriers society puts up for disabled people

Red: represents physical disabilities

Gold: represents neurodiversity

White: represents invisible and undiagnosed disabilities

Blue: represents psychiatric disabilities

Green: represents sensory disabilities

So if you see this about it's someone celebrating Disability Pride 😊

What does it mean to you?

The question of taking pride in disability can be a strange one at first.

For me, I take pride I would not be the person I am today because of both my ADHD and my Crohn's. I eat far healthier now because having Crohn's taught me how to look after myself more properly. My ADHD makes me very good at taking in new information and tackling brand new tasks.

Both also opened my eyes to a lot of the barriers society puts up for disabled people and others. Working to help spread awareness of these barriers, and helping to bring them down, gives me so much motivation and pride.

So, I'd like to ask you the question as well and I'd love to hear your answer. What does taking pride in being disabled mean to you?

Finally, there are some events Scope is running for Disability Pride Month. Some are at the Leeds Hub but there is also an online event on the 29th of July specifically for Scope Members.

They/Them, however they are no wrong pronouns with me so whatever you feel most comfortable with
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  • millano77
    millano77 Community member Posts: 17 Connected
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    When I was disabled officer for a trade union I done disability pride stalls over the sites we covered.
    the first year everyone thought it was to do with LGBTQ pride but with the flyers I made and explaining it to staff they thought it was a great idea and supported the month.

  • saxonmags
    saxonmags Community member Posts: 5 Listener
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    I'm slightly confused why you would call it Disability Pride month as my immediate assumption was that it was celebrating the sexuality differences among disabled people. The coloured flag is, for me, similar also to the Pride flag. No-one should ever be embarrassed about having a disability, and a month for celebrating that is completely justified. I just don't like the association with sexuality, that's all. I'm sure it's not just me thinking this way?

  • Jimm_Scope
    Jimm_Scope Posts: 3,685 Disability Gamechanger
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    I understand the confusion as LGBT+ Pride is often referred to as just 'Pride'. There is some inspiration from how the LGBT+ community celebrate pride in their identity. However, there is no connection between sexuality and Disability Pride. LGBT+ Pride is about taking pride in your identity through your sexuality. Disability Pride is about taking pride in your identity through being disabled.

    There was actually an older flag, but it was redesigned after some feedback, let me see if I can find it.

    Ah yes, this

    They/Them, however they are no wrong pronouns with me so whatever you feel most comfortable with
    Online Community Specialist

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    Opinions are my own, such as mashed potato being bad.
  • saxonmags
    saxonmags Community member Posts: 5 Listener
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    I think I like the old flag better because it's more distinctive from the LGBT one. I understand the meaning of Disability Pride now that I've read the article but so many people these days will just assume it is about sexuality, I fear. Anyway, I've never understood why people would want to celebrate who they have sex with. I've always regarded that as a private matter, but maybe that's just me. I do appreciate the feedback however. Thanks.

  • millano77
    millano77 Community member Posts: 17 Connected
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    the old flag was changed as it caused issues with Neurodivergent people.

    Both LGBTQ Pride and Disability Pride were set up to campaign against the inequalities that both groups received and to give people pride in what they are.

    I fully support both versions of Pride as it gives us a voice.

    When I was disabled officer I campaigned for disability rights in the workplace and helped create the disability passport within my workplace.

    I still do as much as I can on these matters, although not got as much of a voice now I’m not with the trade union.

  • Jimm_Scope
    Jimm_Scope Posts: 3,685 Disability Gamechanger
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    It's more about love than anything else. While it is called "sexuality" we're really talking about who you form relationships with. For a long time people who were LGBT+ we discriminated against for who they loved, so LGBT+ Pride is a celebration of their identity and that it's okay to love someone who is the same gender as you.

    But, that is still talking about LGBT+ Pride when that was last month. Now is Disability Pride! 😁

    They/Them, however they are no wrong pronouns with me so whatever you feel most comfortable with
    Online Community Specialist

    Concerned about another member's safety or wellbeing? Flag your concerns with us. 
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    Opinions are my own, such as mashed potato being bad.
  • vixthestar
    vixthestar Community member Posts: 4 Connected
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    The flag was changed due to it effecting people with visually triggered seizures and migraines. The colours were also muted to assist some neurodivergent people.

  • vixthestar
    vixthestar Community member Posts: 4 Connected
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    It’s not about who people have sex with. It’s about people who differ from the majority. It’s about being able to be who you are and love who you want. Many of us have experienced discrimination for being who we are and it’s only 10 years some of us have been married. We also include asexual identities which include people who don’t experience sexual attraction and can again have very different (or no) relationships compared to societies norm. There is a LOT more to LGBTQ+ people than having sex!!!!!!

  • vixthestar
    vixthestar Community member Posts: 4 Connected
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    Thanks for the post. It’s a shame people can’t separate pride as a word that many communities adopt and ascribe it to one section of society. You can be proud of multiple parts of your identity and not just queerness. Although there is a higher proportion of disabled people in the LGBTQ+ community, they are still different and very much intersectional, along with everything that makes us the wonderful humans we are.

  • saxonmags
    saxonmags Community member Posts: 5 Listener
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    I understand and accept all those diversities, but there are certain groups within those communities who are extremely dominant on social media. So much so that other people who may object to some of their explicit posts are silenced. Some of the videos posted are pornographic yet Twitter and Facebook allows them. Of course there are always going to be extremes within any group, and believe it or not many of the LGBT community do not want to be associated with the add-ons (is it QI?) because of their 'pushiness.' Stonewall has a lot to answer for and also the government for allowing their doctrine being introduced into schools, confusing young minds about their gender. Leave children to develop naturally, make those decisions when they are mature enough to do so.

  • egister
    egister Posts: 106 Courageous
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    I think it's a mistake to run a Disability Pride campaign as LGBTQ+ Pride. Some people will associate disabled people as LGBTQ+.

  • millano77
    millano77 Community member Posts: 17 Connected
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    disability pride is still fairly new as it only officially started in 2015 and only recently came over to the UK.
    I think the mistake was having it the month after LGBTQ pride.
    it is about informing and educating people about disability pride as I encountered when I started doing campaigning for it in my role as a disabled officer for a trade union. My trade union was for the NHS too.

  • Cantilip
    Cantilip Community member Posts: 263 Pioneering
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    How about Disability Awareness Month? Disability Celebration Month? To me Pride means orientation and I at least initially understood Disability Pride as a subsection, those LGBT etc people who are disabled

  • Cantilip
    Cantilip Community member Posts: 263 Pioneering
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    The more I think about this, the more Disability Pride seems to me a really bad name! I'm in a studenty area of Brighton, half the windows have Pride flags in them, seems like! What poster I put up would not be a problem. But I think Disability Pride would be registered by passers-by simply as Pride, whereas Disability Awareness might attract attention. Similarly, say you had a cool employer and asked if you could put up Disability Pride posters, s/he'd probably say, "I didn't know you were gay," whereas Disability Awareness is obviously different

  • millano77
    millano77 Community member Posts: 17 Connected
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    again it’s about education.Disability pride is massive in America and only been ongoing for 9 years and people know what it’s about.

  • egister
    egister Posts: 106 Courageous
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    Disability Pride it is a mockery of the disabled. Any disabled person would be happy to get rid of their disability, unlike lgbtq

  • millano77
    millano77 Community member Posts: 17 Connected
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    how is it a mockery?

    It is about equality and yes most, myself included would like to get rid of our disability it is about owning it and showing that we are more than our disability.
    Disability Pride was set up by the disabled community in America and as I have previously said, slowly starting to become a thing over here in the UK.
    It’s about standing up and using our voices to say that we are here and deserve to be treated as equals in the workplace and society.

  • egister
    egister Posts: 106 Courageous
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    Disability Pride looks like cargo cult of LGBTQ+ Pride. Any merch? No. Multi-level propaganda? No. With such preparation, anything can produce an effect like the Charge of the Light Brigade, and it does not matter what goals the Disability Pride organizers wanted to achieve.

  • millano77
    millano77 Community member Posts: 17 Connected
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    there is plenty of merch available for disability pride, I purchased quite a bit for the stalls I done as a disabled officer for the union.
    I also created my own with the unions logo on it.
    Most of it is available from America since that’s where it started.
    There is only a few places that celebrate disability pride in the UK but it’s getting bigger year on year.
    I refute your claim that it’s a mockery when it was set up by disabled people in America and is massive over there.
    for me it’s about saying that I am more than my disability and able to do more than people think.
    it’s about removing barriers that us as disabled people face both in the workplace and society.
    I have worked for the NHS for 13 years and the barriers I face being disabled is astonishing especially since I work for a department that deals in wheelchairs, prosthetics etc

  • egister
    egister Posts: 106 Courageous
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    No, this means that they cunningly forced you to work more in exchange for organazers idea.
    Think about who pays money for organizing various pride events. These people, of course, want to make money from this. For example, on you personally.

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