Disability Pride Month – Why You Should Care
Did you know that July is Disability Pride month? According to the charity Scope, 13.9 million people in the UK are disabled. I am one of them. Despite my intention to blog about my disability, other than the odd guest post elsewhere, I have spoken out very little about this part of me. From today that is going to change. The pandemic has been hard on many disabled people, including myself and I was really looking forward to all of the Disability Pride Month posts! After all, Pride month has readathons, countless book recommendations, photos with a rainbow of flags…. I was met with silence. How can you say you care about celebrating individual identity if you care about where I fall on the LGBTQIAP+ spectrum but not about another fundamental part of my identity?
I have a voice. I have a platform. It is long past the time that I should have spoken up but I will speak up now. I encourage you to do the same for yourself, for your disabled friends and for the wider community.
What is Disability Pride?
On 26th July 1990 in the USA the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was passed and Disability Pride was born. So why is disability pride important? It is about celebrating human diversity, honouring a individual’s uniqueness and raising awareness of all disabilities. Disability Pride is an opportunity to help people with disabilities feel valued, supported and understood.
Let the people who are so often invisible and unheard have a spotlight. Lift up the voices of disabled people everywhere so that we have a platform for change, so that access will not be an afterthought but a inherent part of design. Fundamentally, so that one day equal opportunities will be more than just a political catchphrase.
Where to Start
It isn’t too late to support Disablity Pride Month. Now is a great time to support disabled content creators and here are some suggestions to get you started:
Mols @molsbymoonlight is one of the most impressive individuals that I know. She has amazing taste in aesthetics! Not only that but she is so supportive of other disabled content creators that she has created a Disabled blogger & YouTuber directory. You can find it here.
If you want some Disability Pride Month book recommendations then check out Kendra Winchester’s YouTube video here. Kendra has some great suggestions, which cover a wide range of disabilities both fiction and non-fiction. You can also check out her Disability Pride Month TBR video for even more suggestions here.
Are you a YA reader? Then Paperfury has you covered with her post 10 YA Books with Disabled Characters You Need to Read, which you can read here.
Do you want to do more? Then please remember when you ask for own-voices books to include disability representation! Every single person should feel represented in literature. With so many disabilities in existence it is often hard to find books that have characters with specific conditions. I try to support books with any positive disability representation with the hope that one day there will be a character like me. What we don’t need are more token disabled characters that are only there to tick a box or to show how ‘nice’ other characters apparently are. You can have a wheelchair and a personality! We need REAL representation and own voices authors now more than ever. If you find a book with great disability representation then shout about it! We need YOU.
In the future I promise to be a better disability advocate. You can expect more personal posts from me about disability as well as a better focus on disability representation in literature. Next year I hope to have a glut of posts for you to celebrate Disability Pride month. Disability pride should be all year round and I hope that after reading this you start or continue to support it. I am proud of who I am and a big part of who I am has been shaped from my life-long disability. If you want to have an open conversation about what it is like to live with an invisible illness or about disability in general than I am always happy to talk to you.
Be proud of who you are.