Let’s talk about Disability pride! In honor of the anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) being passed in 1990, July is Disability Pride Month. Disability pride is defined “as accepting and honoring each person’s uniqueness and seeing it as a natural and beautiful part of human diversity.” To me, disability pride means embracing my disability and who I am as a disabled person. Three years ago, I would have never posted a picture where my power chair was visible, let alone a picture that shows the physical characteristics of my disability. Learning to have pride in my disability has taught me to love my disability and that my disabled body is enough.
Society tries to tell disabled people that our disability is the problem; that we need to cure ourselves to fit in. It is society’s structure that is the problem. Inaccessibility is the problem. Society’s view on disability is the problem, but disabilities are NOT the problem.
Surrounding myself with other people with disabilities helped me find my own self-worth. Connecting with others who understand what it is like to have a disability and have had similar experiences is validating and empowering. It is when someone feels isolated and alone in their experiences that they start to question their self-worth. Once you realize you are not alone, that is when you start to grow. Instead of seeing a disability as a weakness, a disability needs to be seen as a strength. My disability makes me who I am. My disability makes me strong, capable, and independent.
What does disability pride mean to you?
About Isabella Bullock: Isabella, or Izzie for short, is an employment specialist for the Center of Independent Living. She is an iced coffee enthusiast who enjoys getting lost in a good book. Click here to learn more about Isabella.