awareness

Disability Pride Month 2024

It is Disability Pride Month 2024 a time to celebrate, mourn, educate and get angry about the injustices we face every day.

disability pride month 2024
Photo by Ian Taylor on Unsplash
Image description: A flag is seen from above, it is black with loads of hearts in rainbow colours

I think we can all agree that attitudes towards disabled people have to change, and that we are all disappointed it didn’t when Covid happened. I think I got a bit giddy thinking of all the possibilities that opened up for us that have been shut down just as quickly since.

It was so nice to be able to see the option to work from home, something disabled people have been asking for, for so long. I also liked recorded theatre productions suddenly online and feeling part of the world and just a little bit more equal.

But in the time that has followed, we have seen violence towards disabled people on the rise, as well as government rhetoric towards us become more vitriolic. Jobs proven to be able to be done from home, where disabled people face less accessible issues, are also suddenly back in inaccessible offices.

Faced with these facts, it can be hard to feel pride about being disabled, something that seems like an alien concept to most people. But we are the largest minority in the world and the only minority that anyone could join at any moment, so why shouldn’t we be proud of who we are?

Every year in June, the world turns rainbow as everyone celebrates how far the LBGTQ+ community have come. In the 1980s and before having pride to be part of this minority would have been a foreign concept, so it gives me a little hope.

Maybe in the future we will see logos and online spaces turning our rainbow colours and people wearing disability pride flags! This Disability Pride Month, I can only hope that we can work together to celebrate, mourn, educate and get angry about the injustices so one day we can have that.

Disability Pride Month

Celebrate:

  • The game Finch that I use for setting goals and for my mental health has disability pride flag T shirts and accessories I can dress my bird in.
  • Doctor Who had a brilliant character who is disabled as is the actress who plays her which is amazing to see
  • There are more and more people sharing their battles with chronic illness and disability on social media we are a collective who support one another
  • These things help us to be seen just like seeing more people of colour on TV helps us to see our society. It is something I celebrate and hope that as more of us are seen and accepted more people will be our allies and help us fight for equality.

Mourn

  • Many people have been lost since the pandemic and austerity including many to suicide as they try to fight for benefits.
  • We also have a government wanting to legalise assisted dying, which in theory I do agree with. Dignity and the decision of when to die is something I believed in ever since my nursing days. However, there have been issues of poor and disabled people being talked into this option as they are seen as nothing but a burden on society.
  • Disabled people are just that, people! We deserve to have enough money to live on, to have a stable job if possible, and to live our best lives. This month we mourn those of us who were given none of these things and we ask that this changes.

Educate

  • This month we try to be seen by more people, to get Disability Pride Month to become a movement.
  • Together we share information, YouTube videos, reels TikToks and more so people learn more about illnesses, accidents etc that can leave anyone a part of our community.
  • By educating about my illnesses all year round, I hope to help people feel comfortable in their skin and to realise we are all valid. Everyone deserves a chance to learn and grow so we all live better and longer lives.

Anger

  • There is a lot to still be angry about, a lot of hate and misinformation that holds us back, just like in so many movements.
  • It can be hard to see the news or hear the things people think and say about our community and the barriers put in our way for seemingly no reason.
  • We have every right to get angry, to feel like we don’t fit into society, and we are not really welcome to become a bigger part of it. Even parliament is not represented by disabled people:

There are currently 14.1 million disabled people in the UK, which is 21% of the population, with 8% of children being disabled, 19% of working age adults, and 44% of pension age adults. If these numbers were proportional to the number of disabled MPs, we should expect to see about 136 disabled MPs. We currently have 5 MPs who are open about having a disability.

Disability rights UK

I know it can be hard to feel empowered and proud as a disabled person, and this month I know many of us have mixed feelings about this part of the movement. However, Disability Pride Month, I think, is needed just like the LBGTQ+ pride is needed to push back on society.

I wish you happy Disability Pride Month 2024 and hope things look brighter for us every single year to come.

Thank you xx

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