“Nothing About Us Without Us” – notes on Disability Pride

I inadvertently picked up on a kind of disability code that was common then: minimize the impact, hide it, sweep it aside as a mere personal detail – and get on with your life. This, I see now, was the opposite of disability pride.

Ben Mattlin

It is July 2023, and it’s Disability Pride month. As an ally, and a caregiver, and a person with my own disabilities I know that there are nuances to what pride means to the disabled community; but the word “disability” is an intentionally broad and inclusive term for us to gather under.

Disability Pride is about breaking down the shame and stigma that still abound in our homes, communities and at work. It is about being seen, it is about speaking up, it is for challenging institutional biases. It is a movement of porting conversations, and policies, and law, and architecture to recognize that we all contribute uniquely, that we engage and communicate uniquely, that we access things differently.

As an ally, I want to encourage you to recognize how different a view of the world is for someone who is disabled. Perspective is gained by engaging, by listening, and by learning. It’s a journey that I’m on too and I’m asking you to share it with me.

Learn more. Here are some book and film references (sorted by year of publication):

Connect. Here are some social media accounts to follow (sorted alphabetically by first name) – there are many accounts to follow but this will get you started:

  • Aaron Rose Philip – modelinstagram
  • Abby Sams – adaptive athlete, modelinstagram
  • Ali Stroker – actor, Tony Award (Oklahoma!) instagram
  • Alice Wong – authortwitter
  • Andrew Pulrang – Forbes contributor, writer twitter, linkedin, substack
  • Ayanna Pressley – US Representative, Massachusetts (D)
  • Chelsea Bear – instagram
  • Christine Miserandino – author, “The Spoon Theory” twitter
  • Gaylyn Henderson – Aerie model instagram
  • Jillian Mercado – latinx modelinstagram
  • Jim LeBrecht – filmmaker, Oscar nominee (Crip Camp) instagram, twitter
  • Kim E. Nielsen – professor, author – linkedin
  • Lily D Moore – actortwitter, instagram
  • Melissa Blake – activist, blogger, authorinstagram, twitter
  • Rebecca Cokley – activist, author twitter, medium
  • Ryan O’Connell – author/star of Netflix “Special”instagram
  • Serge Kovaleski – New York Times reporter twitter
  • Shane Burcaw – author, model YouTube
  • Steph Roach – instagram
  • Tammy Duckworth – US Senator, Illinois (D)
  • Zach Anner – YouTube

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